Growth Barrier No. 3: Sharing
Churches stop growing when they become inwardly (instead of outwardly) focused. If you notice a decline in your number of first-time guests and an increase in discussion of inwardly focused programs, beware! You are about to fall victim to the sharing barrier.
In my experience, healthy growing churches will have a ratio of five first-time guests to every 100 regular attendees. So, if you are averaging 200 people per week, you should average 10 first-time guests per week. Watch this ratio carefully, and take its waning as a warning sign. When this barrier starts blocking your growth, here are some ways you can break through it:
—Teach on relational evangelism.
—Set an example by telling stories of how you’ve invited people to church.
—Do servant evangelism outreach.
—Challenge staff, volunteers and attendees to invite friends.
—Read an evangelism or church growth book with your staff and key volunteers.
—Ask someone who has experienced life change to share his or her testimony.