The COVID-19 pandemic produced an emotional roller coaster for the entire world. Locked away in our homes, unable to be with our loved ones, we all, collectively, went through a range of emotions and feelings that many times left us feeling empty and unfulfilled, in search of something to fill the void in our lives.
Many people turned to the Church.
Whether it was online or small in-person gatherings, people were looking to God to fill the empty places in their souls.
The result? Our churches and parishes are growing. What a great thing! But for some smaller churches, the growth created a great problem. Their small staff teams became overwhelmed with new members, and their limited resources were not able to catch up with the increased demand overnight.
As church leaders, many of us may be facing similar situations. So what do we do? How do we manage this incredible church growth? Simple. We must somehow increase our resources.
Here are the four ways we can become churches with high capacity and do just that.
Resource #1: Personnel.
It might seem simple, but if you have the budget, hire more staff members. You’ll need extra hands to manage the extra load. You’ll need specialists with qualified skills to lead new ministries, new programs, and new groups of believers. Maybe you have a permanent online service. Hire some tech guys. Perhaps you now have more children attending the church than ever before. Hire a children’s pastor. Maybe you have people from another culture attending your services. Hire a community engagement director. Whatever you need, get someone in place to meet that need. If funds are not available, start recruiting volunteers. You’ll find that skilled people are ready and willing to volunteer their time as a personal ministry to the Lord. They can fill many needed positions until you find yourself ready to hire someone full-time.
Resource #2: Expertise
Now’s the time to look into the possibility of hiring some consultants. A growing church means more people. And more people means more needs. More needs? It means more ministries that you might not know how to run right now. You know how to preach and how to lead worship. Beyond that? You may need an expert. Hire a specialist to teach you about starting a Small Groups Ministry. Hire a specialist to consult with you on opening a Church Café or Parish “store.” Look into bringing someone in to teach you how to start a Missions Ministry. Whatever your growing church or parish needs, it’s likely an expert can teach you how to do it. Many denominational offices and dioceses have consultants on staff already that may be available to you. Gather that expertise in the short term and implement new programs as you are ready.
Resource #3: Education
There will be things we, as church leaders, do not know how to lead moving forward in a growing church. We must work to build our capacity as leaders as we seek to lead most effectively. The best way to start building our own capacity? Through education. Take an additional seminary course. Go to a conference. Learn from a larger church or parish. Invite a speaker to teach your staff and volunteers. Find the areas in which you are weakest and seek out solutions to grow in that area. Yes, seminary classes and conferences cost money. However, it will be an excellent investment in the future of the individuals within your congregation. The growth of your church depends upon your ability to lead it well.
Resource #4: Technology
There may be no more obvious way to manage church growth than by investing in an excellent technology package that will help you track the people in your church, learn about their demographics, and then follow them through as they participate in the life of your church. What programs do they attend? How do they volunteer? How do they give? How often do they attend worship services? Through technology, you can easily discover what parts of the church are most important to them and how you, as the church staff, can best serve them. Again, this will require a financial investment; in the end, it will be worth it as you seek to grow the church and manage that growth while still focusing on each church member as a valued individual of your church or parish.
Churches are growing! Celebrate! Then take the time needed to invest in resources that will help you manage that growth and watch your church grow to that next all-important level in God’s Kingdom.
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