Dear fellow pastor,
Like you, I have the privilege and responsibility of pastoring a local church. My church is in Dubbo (Dubbo Presbyterian), and I’m one of 3 full time pastors.
I know the joys of seeing people come to Christ. And I know the frustration of not seeing this happen.
Like you, I know the joys of seeing people come to Christ. And I know the frustration of not seeing this happen.
You see, like any biblically faithful church, we want to reach as many of the lost as possible. And over time, by the grace of God, we saw this happen: we grew in number to around 450 people.
But, like so many churches, our growth stagnated. Conversions became fewer and fewer. Over the last couple of years, we reached something of a ceiling in the number of people at our church.
And we weren’t sure why.
We were preaching faithfully. We were running evangelistic programs.
And so, perhaps, we thought, it was because of other reasons:
- Our staffing ratios?
- The way we were structured as staff?
- The way we ran things as a church?
- Or maybe a combination of all three?
So, in order to see more people saved, we decided to get some outside help.
We went to a conference run by ‘Reach Australia’—an organisation committed to helping churches grow by reaching more people with the gospel. We were keen to get some ideas on how we might grow into the future.
Little did we know that the conference would be the beginning of a transformation.
There are so many ways the conference helped us in our thinking and stimulated ongoing discussions over the past 18 months.
And as a result, all of us pastors eagerly signed up for Reach Australia’s Development Program, a program aimed at equipping pastors to grow their church.
Now previously, before the program, we did a lot of good things as a church:
- We worked hard at our Bible teaching;
- We worked well as a team;
- We ran a lot of evangelistic events, and we had a significant number of growth groups.
We were going well, but we didn’t realise that we could be doing so much better.
These and other things have meant many people enjoyed being part of church and were growing as followers of Christ. We were going well, but we didn’t realise that we could be doing so much better.
We could be doing so much better in reaching the lost for Christ.
And as a result of the Reach Development Program, we gained two key insights:
1. The Importance of Focus.
We realised that having a large number of different and distinct events/programs can be much more powerful if they form part of an integrated whole. We’re now working towards integrating everything we do as a church to maximise the impact we’re having in our church and in our town for the gospel.
2. The Importance of Measuring our Progress.
We used to exercise our various ministries with the general goal of prayerfully speaking the word of God into people’s lives, to grow them as followers of Christ. And that’s a great thing! But without specific aims we had no way of measuring if what we were doing was achieving our goal.
This meant we had no clear way of deciding if we needed to change what we were doing, or if we should stay the course for the time being.
We’re now working hard at articulating precisely what we want to achieve in growing followers of Christ. This then, determines the things we do as we try and achieve those goals.
Fellow Pastor, I realise there are all sorts of things you’re doing to see your church grow in faithfulness, and in numbers.
But if you’re wanting to see more people in your area come to know Christ, and yet are struggling to see that happen, then let me commend Reach Australia.
Their gracious, expert advice will help you biblically and practically to reach more of the lost in your area.
Just as they helped us.
Visit Reach Australia for more information. Upcoming intakes for 2021 start in Feb, April and July.