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5 BAD HABITS THAT KILL CHURCH GROWTH AND HOW TO BREAK THEM THE OVERARCHING STRUGGLE WITH CHURCH GROWTH 4 BAD HABIT #1: LACK OF INVESTMENT IN STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS 6 Growing your potential 6 Managing your staff and volunteers 8 BAD HABIT #2: YOU HAVEN’T IDENTIFIED YOUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC 9 Choosing your target audience 9 BAD HABIT #3: YOU DON’T HAVE AN OUTREACH STRATEGY FOR YOUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC 11 Reaching out to your target audience 12 Using all the tools in your toolbox 12 BAD HABIT #4: YOU HAVEN’T PRIORITIZED TEACHING ABOUT GENEROSITY 14 Taking away barriers to giving 15 BAD HABIT #5: YOU’RE NOT MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE DIGITALLY 16 Embracing mobile technology 17 On the road to growth 18
3 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matt. 28:16–20 When Jesus gave the Church the commission to make disciples, he gave us growth as a metric. Part of the disciple-making process is inspiring people to make more disciples. Hopefully our churches are places where people are coming to learn what it means to follow Jesus. It’s not that we want to grow for growth’s sake or that we want to build the largest edifice with the biggest budget. We want to create a life-giving culture that points people to Christ and releases them to share his message of reconciliation with the world. It’s completely natural, however, that churches sometimes internalize and exhibit characteristics that challenge their ability to grow. Our desire isn’t to shame struggling churches! We want to help with the sometimes difficult process of self- evaluation and hopefully point out some fixes that can get them back on track.
4 THE OVERARCHING STRUGGLE WITH CHURCH GROWTH We recently released the 5 Principles of Fast Church Growth based on research and interviews with the 100 fastest-growing churches in America. And while it’s full of powerful insights to help grow your church, there’s always the potential that readers will fall into the same quagmire: they want a silver bullet that will grow their church overnight, and when they don’t find it, they give up. Lack of focus and follow-through is one of the most consistent struggles in growth-driven churches. They’ll discover a technique being used successfully by a church and attempt to implement the same idea, but after a couple of weeks or months with no measurable growth, they throw in the towel and move on to something else.

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