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The Question

Perhaps the number one question you all ask me these days is how do we grow our church. We've held steady for a year or so, but now's the time to get out of preservation mode and start building again. "We need to add people" is far easier said than done, but there are always options and strategies.

In fact, I could turn us into the next 3Trees or a baby Southeast by the end of the year, and all I'd have to do is totally sell out, abandoning everything I believe about worship and who we are as a church. If we went to totally contemporary songs, hired a rock band, added lights and fog machines, removed the pulpit, hid the baptistery, killed the Sunday school program and moved exclusively to small groups, quit Sunday evening services, revamped the sanctuary, switched my sermon style, and convinced me to wear untucked shirts with blue jeans and possibly get a Christian-y tattoo, we would start adding people -- younger people -- in droves. And we would stop being Russell Springs Christian Church, maybe in name as well as in spirit.

Since all of us -- including myself -- absolutely do not want to do that, we'll need to do other things. It's unavoidable we'll have to change up our music a bit, but we won't abandon hymns entirely. We'll need a bigger emphasis on relationships across the spectrum: Sunday school classes could get together for fellowship on their own time; we get invested more in the schools; we help out our community more; and we go to the highways and the hedges and ask them to come in, showing people we love them and God does, too. We can offer more classes and end programs that aren't seeking the lost, saving the found, and cultivating disciples.

There's only one formula for church growth, however, that's guaranteed to work every time: seek the will of God and do it. After all, one can plant, another can water, but God gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). We can never do it on our own, but with God, with the leadership of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible.

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