Though God is the author of increase, man has his role to play. Here are various strategies that could generate church increase according to the sovereign will of God.( 1 Corinthians 3:6)
1.       Friends’ Day – Organize special Sunday for members and their friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Make adequate arrangement to welcome visitors and make them comfortable.
Record names, phone number and prepare to call or visit them.
2.       Concentrate on your Church children department. If you have a special place for them, let it be decorated with bright colours, toys etc. Those kids cold help in keeping their parents in the church.
3.       Organize a “calling program” to follow up first time guests. A set of people could be trained and equipped for “hello, we’re glad you visited us” calls.
4.       Senior Adult Program: you can design an outreach program for people over 60years of age.
5.       Congregational Card Invitation: print business card size cards that include a brief invitation to the services of your congregation and a description of the location. Provide 50cards each for the adults and encourage them to carry them in their wallets for distribution to co-workers and neighbours.
6.       Train and equip ushers and greeters regularly to empower them to be able to function adequately and make visitor feel welcomed.
7.       Team visit another church: send teams of 3 people each to visit the worship services of growing churches. Sense what it looks like to be a visitor, then let them come back and share implementable ideas.
8.       Multiple worship services:  when you add another Sunday worship service, you will give room for people to varied schedules to come in.
9.       More training:  train your leaders and willing members more and more.
It is called capacity building and it will generate good church health and growth.
10.     Hold times of retreat:  sometimes speedy / accelerated development can be experienced in just days. A lot of people love getting away. Sometimes into a solitary place for a time out with God
11.     Organize congregational evangelism training: a lot of people do not know how to effectively share their faith. Your job will be to teach them how to do it practically. Annual congregational training is not out of place.
12.     Form a rapid response team:  rapid response to the needs of the congregation gives a satisfactory feeling and sense of belonging. If a rapid response team led by a responsible high ranking church officialn with strong spriritual standing is in place, a lot of people will not leave the church because of lack of care.
13.     Form, encourage and empower church drama team:  a lot of people are  captured and educated by what they can see.
14.     Newcomer party: those joining the church afresh could be hosted on regular basis – every 3 months. It should involve the Senior Pastor and some members who can now begin to network effectively with the new members. The party is to end with refreshment and informal interaction.
15.     Appoint care givers over specific unit in the church.
16.     “Adopt a highway program. The church can select a particular raod around the  around the church premises and be involved in regular cleaning. Every one will soon know about that church.
17.     Ballon launch: fill balloons caring information about the church with helium and launch them into the neighbourhood.
18.     Bus Ministry:  evangelise a neighbourhood and offer to take to regularly to the church with the bus.
19.     Sponsor a movie night for children and invite them thereafter to Sunday service. It should be a “G” rated film.
20.     Newspaper reading center:  it keeps the neighbourhood informed and minister to those who cannot buy newspaper for financial reasons.
21.     Offer prayer booth or prayer request collection centre around the town. It may carry the banner “how can we prayer for you”
22.     Donate road signposts – inscribe the name of the donor (your church) under the signpost. It establish your presence and spread your name and influence.
23.     Marriage vow renewal
24.     Free car wash:  use a Saturday morning to offer a free car wash in a location close to the church. Do it whole heartedly and don’t collect money. While the owners are waiting you can share literature materials among them and befriend them – collecting their phone numbers and contact address.
25.     Neighborhood victory match (prayer walking).
26.     Promote a different ministry each month:  your church is one large group that is composed of several smaller ministries. Such group include children, youth, women, prayer groups, married and singles. Each of these groups could be promoted on monthly basis with special programs.
27.     Pursue the goal of making every member a minister: church attendance will take an upward surge if you are able to push 50% of the congregants to the work of the ministry. Research has revealed that most Chrstians who are more than 7years in Christ, yet without doing something for God, will start going down spiritually
28.     Promoting small group fellowship small group fellowship led by church members not pastors is one of the easiest way to create a strong relationship among members. It help close the backdoor of the church, serve as evangelistic outreach point ( if well managed), worship and prayer center, small group fellowship are literal cells and when cells multiply the whole body grows. (Matt 18:20)
29.     Creating an interdenominational atmosphere with a periodic special programme.
30.     Effective conflict management: the number one reason why people stop to going to any given church is conflict and gossip. To grow and continue to grow as a church therefore, the leadership must be able to manage conflict adequately.
There are many methods of conflicts management, the pastor need wisdom to know which method to apply per time.
ü    Collaborating, win / win
ü    Compromising win some / lose some
ü    Accommodating lose / win
ü    Competing win / lose
ü    Avoiding no winner / no loser.
It must be noted that conflict is part of the church ministry – we should therefore not be surprised when it arises in our midst (I Cor 1:10,11, James 4:2). The truth however is that it can be minimized while major conflicts can be prevented.
PREVENTING CHURCH CONFLICTS
ü Teach love and show it to the people. I Cor 13:4-5, Prov 10:12
ü Saturating the people with God’s word that could destroy selfish desire and silence the “old man”
ü Avoid direct passing of verdict in the presence of the two parties. Paul pleaded with two fighting parties to agree, without giving a verdict. Phil 4:2
ü Keep the people occupied and the congregation busy seeking to know God the more. Idleness is a fertile ground for conflict.
ü Refuse to listen to gossip (Eph 4:27, Prov 26:20, Prov 17:14, Jude 1:19, Titus 3:10-11)
  • The fastest way to prevent or stop conflict is to stop the gossipers. Those who gossip to leaders cannot be trusted, they will also gossip about the leaders.
  • Listening to gossip is like accepting stolen property and it makes you just as guilty of the crime
ü Discharging potential troublemakers wisely. I Cor 11:19
ü Never try to forcefully keep those who WANT to leave. It can cause disunity, unanswered prayers, church paralysis and CHURCH SPLIT.

THE 3 CONFLICTS IN THE CHURCH
ü Administrative conflict (Acts 6): when the number of disciples increased, there arose a conflict between the Hebrews and the Hellenists, concerning food distribution.
  • This was solved by delegation and prayers.
ü Theological conflict:  In Act 15, some Jewish Christians said gentile Christians must be circumcised in order to be saved. This became a very big issue until the elders met and issued a final statement on the issue.
Theological conflict cannot be covered for long.
ü Personal Conflict: Acts 15: 36-41: This is the most challenging of all types of conflict – majorly because of personality differences and character traits.
The only antidote is the pursuit of genuine spiritual growth among the parties involved. If not the parties may not be able to work effectively for the furtherance of the gospel and should be separated.
31.     Recognize, admonish and encourage those who want to leave.
There are some signs you can use to recognize those leaving the church.
  • They start to complain to friends, family and staff about.
  • They begin to absent themselves from church – related get togethers and services.
  • They visit other churches
  • They drop out of their units.
  • Their relationship with people who are very committed to church becomes strained.
  • They stop tithing. They stop jotting down sermons, finding it difficult to be blessed.
  • They stop serving totally in the church.
  • They begin to tell some people “we are thinking of leaving the church”
  • They begin to criticize everyone.
  • They look for any slight offence that will be the straw before they quit the church.
As you begin to notice some of these signs, you can call them, pray with and for them.
32.     Make the church to be more friendly.
7 steps to a friendlier congregation.
  • Tutor the people with skill that is needed to be friendly. Simple things, eye contact, a handshake, a smile, remembering the name of the guest, phone call after the service.
  •  Teach a Sunday class on being a friend to new people. Allow Christ love to permeate through the people.
  •  Establish the 5 minutes rule. Train the people that they only talk with the people they do not know in the first 5minutes after service.
  •  Bring a secret guest – who will help evaluate the worship service, the beauty and the receptivity of the church.
  •  Let the members know the distinction between about “becoming friends” and “being friendly”
  •  Interview new members and asked them why they stayed – improve on all the points they raised.
Welcome your newcomers in such a way they won’t be embarrassed

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