I’ve noticed one common denominator in growing churches. Some of the expanding churches are traditional. Some are modern. Some are Baptist. Some are non-denom. Some use stage designs. Some don’t.
There are so many different types of growing churches but I’ve noticed one similarity in them all. And that’s this:
The congregation is willing to be uncomfortable so that newcomers are comfortable.
I went to two different churches recently. One made us leave before the message. One is now my home church.
- We couldn’t find a seat because everyone was sitting in the aisle rows.
- There were no ushers taking us directly to a seat. We had to ask to be seated.
- When we got brave enough to move past a group of worshiping people to a seat, we found out those seats we were scoping out were saved.
- We finally found a seat on the other side of the auditorium.
- The lady in front of us was looking back at us realizing we weren’t “from around here”.
- The special needs young adult to my left was staring at me and my wife every 2 minutes…his father didn’t seem to mind we were feeling awkward.
- Nobody seemed friendly until the greeting time…which is when we were heading for the exits.
- We’re ushered to our seats regardless of whether or not we ask. Regulars might feel bullied. We felt comfortable.
- The ushers encourage everyone to sit in the middle of the rows instead of in the aisles.
- There are so many volunteers to show you exactly where to go. And they point it out before you even ask.
- Those volunteers give up their chance to worship by staying in the lobby during the whole service. They are servants.
- People genuinely seem happy to see us there. From 10 minutes before the service all the way to 10 minutes after.
Growth is uncomfortable. Growing pains. We have to be willing to go through them if we want to grow.
Many leaders are willing to endure the pains…but many congregants aren’t.
You have to coach your congregation through the growth. Pastor them until they’re willing and ready for the growing pains.
What do you think? Have you seen this in your church? Are your people willing to grow…even if it’s uncomfortable?