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I’ve had an intriguing email exchange today with a pastor of a small church here in the Southeast. He’s been in his position for less than two years, and he’s leading his church through a transition. They’re just beginning to break the 100 barrier. Here are a handful of take aways from his experiences:

  • It’s impossible to grow a church beyond 100 people if there’s one person who makes all the decisions and calls all the shots.
  • When one person controls the ministry, it denies God’s plan to equip God’s people to do his work. Healthy growth doesn’t happen outside of God’s design. See Ephesians 4:11-13.
  • Many times people have to leave before the church can become healthy and experience growth.
  • Many times the people who leave make little if any financial impact with their departure. In other words, your most vocal antagonists in many cases are giving very little to the church.
  • It’s difficult to build momentum with regular transitions in leadership.
  • Growth in churches is more about relationships than anything else. This church doesn’t even have a website at this point.

Those are some learnings from this pastor’s experiences. What are yours? As the pastor of a smaller church, what were some of the keys to breaking through those growth barriers?

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