Outreach Seminar: Breaking Attendance Barriers

Do you desire to see your church grow to the next level? Do you feel stuck at a certain level in your church’s growth? In this session you will learn how to effectively develop growth systems that work whether your barrier is 125, 250, 500 or 1000.

You will learn:

* How to identify and remove the barriers that keep your church from growing
* How to develop effective systems for staff, space, small groups, and finances in order to strengthen your growth potential
* How to think strategically about growth in order to avoid future barriers

Church BarriersSpeaker: Nelson Searcy
Lead Pastor : Journey Church of the City
Bio: Nelson Searcy is the founding pastor of The Journey Church of the City in New York, NY. The Journey is an innovative, multicultural, multi-site church in Manhattan and is one of the fastest growing churches in the Northeast. Nelson previously served as the Director of The Purpose Driven Community at Saddleback Church. He is also founder of EpicAdventures.org and Smartleadership.com.

Many church planters seem to hit certain attendance numbers and plateau. Searcy identified the most common church attendance barriers as 65, 125, 250 and 500. He said the question a church should ask is not “How do I get my church to grow?” BUT “What is keeping my church from growing?” Searcy said clearly God desires the kingdom to grow and has called us to go and make disciples. So, when a church isn’t growing, it is something that is keeping it from growth. Searcy identified 9 barriers to growth: Space, Pastor Development, Sharing, Stewardship, Sunday Services, Small Groups, Staff, Speaking and Structure.

In the session, Searcy spoke on 3 of these barriers, Space, Pastor Development and Sharing.

Growth Barrier Space
Barrier Principle: Once a room is 70%, its full.

When a room is full, people stop:
– inviting friends
– talking to guests (they focus on getting out of the room)
– attending regularly

Growth Barrier Self Development
Self Development = Leadership Ability + Spiritual Maturity

When a pastor isn’t growing, the church stops growing, sermons are stale and the passion for ministry wanes. Searcy said every pastor is doing way to much. Pastors need to not be doers but equipers. “Often a church will grow to a certain level, and come back to a level the pastor is more comfortable with,” said Searcy.

Growth Barrier Sharing

Sharing = Reaching new people

Every person in the church needs to be challenged to share with 3 people. Searcy stated a healthy ratio is 5:100 (five first time guests for every 100 people).

Searcy has a website where he sells his seminars on, www.epicteam.org. He said his best selling seminar his Assimilation Seminar-From First Time Guests to Long Time Members.

Also see: The TurnOut Solution: Solving the Problem of Plateau and Decline
Churches: Breaking the 125 Barrier