12 Lessons I’ve Learned About Church Growth

imagesToday’s guest post comes from Rick Langford, Pastor at Landmark Worship Center in Lafayette, LA and long-time member of my Renegade Pastors Network. Rick shares a few secrets to church growth that he has picked up from years in ministry. It’s a solid list – read on!  

I have been privileged to serve as pastor of three churches. 28 years as a Senior Pastor will teach you a few things. Here are some of the lessons I have learned about church growth.

In order to experience growth:

1. You MUST define yourself as a church. What kind of church are you going to be? Will you be a church that exists primarily for church-goers or a church for the unchurched? The difference is huge. Here’s one way to determine what kind of church you are. Answer this question: Are we growing because of move-ins and transfers of Christians from other churches or are we growing because we are winning brand new people to Christ?

2. You MUST be willing to LOSE in order to gain. As hard as it is, when you define what kind of church you will be, some people will leave. Don’t give up and don’t blame yourself. Some losses are necessary for the vision to move forward. Once you get over the initial shock, the reality of necessary losses will be revealed. Some of our best gains have been losses. The toughest part for us was the temporary loss of money but that was quickly replaced.

3. You MUST obsess over a focused vision. Everybody say it with me, “Focused vision.” The whole church must be obsessed with a very defined, “one track mind” vision. Too often we chase multiple visions and accomplish little because we are spreading our efforts and resources too thin. Seek ONE vision and go all in for it. Make sure every ministry in your church is chasing the same vision. And remember the number one habit of highly successful people…begin with the end in mind.

4. You MUST have a team mentality. The synergy of a group of people working together for a common goal is invaluable. As a pastor, I may be the primary vision caster but I have learned that there are people on my team who have better ideas, clearer understanding and knowledge, and who are gifted where I am not. Don’t shortchange the vision by being selfish with it. Together we are better.

Click here to read the full article.

Your partner in ministry,


P.S. – I agree with Rick – together we ARE better. Join Rick and myself in a community of pastors who are focused on abandoning average in every area of their life and ministry. It’s an opportunity for you to grow as a leader and maximize your God-given potential. Click here to learn more about taking a two-month test drive for just $1.00!

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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