david hoffmeister growth is every pastor’s dream. Usually, the concept of church growth is limited to refer only to an increase in church attendance without considering the quality of its members. When quality is set aside, the church may grow in number but may not remain stable and end up splitting into several groups.
In order to achieve a good quality church growth, one must identify the possible barriers or obstacles along the way. There are five common church growth barriers that should be avoided, namely: poor administration, ineffective evangelism, inadequate programming, increasing complexity, and ingrown fellowship.
Oftentimes, the greatest barrier to church growth comes from the leadership. The pastor must have the right motive in leading. If growing a church is only to show off and compare with the other churches around, then it is not kingdom building anymore. In addition, if growth is only aimed at having more people in order to justify a pastor’s plan for building expansion then he/she may be at the wrong direction. When this happens, there is a need for the pastor to stop and pray, and to listen to God’s soft prompting that “it’s not about you, it’s all about God.” Church size is dependent upon the context and community, the pastor, and his willingness to serve.
Considering the size of the community and the prospects for evangelism and church membership is really important. It would be impossible to have 3000 members when the population of the community barely reaches 1000. One must be realistic in setting goals for church growth. In addition, it is very important that the leader does not “lord over” the church. In the Christian point of view, the pastor is a shepherd or a servant leader. He is not there to be the boss. He/she should be willing to serve. Following the example of the pastor, the church members will turn out to be willing to serve also and will win the whole community more effectively.