Ten Growth Principles of Healthy Churches, Part 5

In my previous blog I listed 10 so let’s continue to examine two more with number seven and eight.

7. Healthy Churches keep many hooks in the water. They don’t have just one strategy that reaches people but a number of opportunities. They provide many side doors in order for people to be reached (hooks) like… men and women’s ministries, Upward sports, exercise programs, Christian based help groups like Celebrate Recovery, etc.

Growing up my Dad and I did a lot of fishing and I could never understand why he always caught more fish than me. Then one day the light came on for this ole boy and I realized he was using two or three fishing poles to my one. He also would use different baits and fish at different depths. I was using only one fishing pole.

The principle is the same. If a church wants to make an impact on its communities and catch more fish, they must think of multiple ways (hooks) to reach people. Look at the needs in your community and then attempt to meet those needs. This will require more leaders who step forward and lead out in a wide variety of ministries, but it also means more people will be involved in ministry.

What new hook are you going to put in the water in the next three months?

8. Healthy Churches continue to contextualize their strategy. In other words they know how to reach their particular church field and are not clones of Saddleback, Willow Creek or The Church at Brook Hills. They may adapt some of the best ideas from other churches, but make no mistake they are an original not a copy of some other church model. They are seeking to be all that God wants for them in their specific location.

Healthy churches seek the Lord and His plans and not the latest church methodological fad. When I visited Saddleback in the mid 1990’s Rick Warren made it very clear that their process would not work in another setting but to take the principles of what they were doing and adapt them to where you are. That is the essence of contextualizing principles to fit your church culture.

Our problem is we want it now. Give me the 1, 2, 3 steps and let’s get er’ done so we can move on to something else. We forget that the process is as important as the product. How a church arrives at strategy (the journey) is as important as the destination.

What is the next step God is leading your church to take to reach people for Jesus Christ?

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

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