We recently had the privilege of hosting a workshop with Dr. Jerry Lawson, pastor or Daystar Church in Cullman, Alabama.

Jerry is also the man behind 24toDouble, a whole church discipleship model that has helped more than 2,000 churches learn how to double their church in 24 months or less.

What started as a 60-year old church with sixty 60-year olds (in a town of 491 people) has since blossomed into a multi-site church with 4,000 weekend worshipers.

Jerry has learned how to overcome obstacles to church growth.

In this workshop, he shared seven that are most common to churches.

And it’s critical to know these. Friend, we are in a war.

Did you know that 100 years ago that 80% of American attended church?

But then, by World War 2, that number shrank to just 40%, meaning the church in America had already lost HALF the population in one generation.

Today, the most accurate statistical efforts tell us that about 20% of the population goes to church.

That’s right. American church attendance went from 80% several generations ago, to only 40% two generations ago, to now 20% today.

It’s estimated that by 2050 that only 11.6% of Americans will attend church on a given Sunday.

If this were the stock market we were talking about, people would be jumping off the top of tall buildings in New York City.

As a pastor or leader, you must act as if YOUR church is the only church in your town capable of reaching people. That yours may be the only church standing between them and hell.

If you don’t address these seven things, your church may not grow in size or influence.

The 7 Most Common Obstacles to Church Growth

  1. An Internally Focused Church.
    Simply put, an internally focused church does not grow.
  2. Substandard First Impressions.
    Everything communicates something.
  3. A worship ministry that’s out of sync with the culture.
    Who are you trying to reach? How does your music line up with that vision?
  4. Stagnant Children’s Ministry.
    Same when it comes to student ministry.
  5. A Non-Existent Follow-Up Strategy.
    Who is the one person in charge of follow-up at your church?
  6. The Assumption of Connection.
    If a newcomer to your church doesn’t make 7 friends in the first seven weeks, you’ve lost them.
  7. Mission Creep.
    What are you doing that isn’t essential to the vision or mission of your church?

Listen to the workshop to hear Jerry talk in more detail about these seven points.

He doesn’t just discuss the obstacles, but also gives practical ways to overcome them.