How does your congregation grow?

Ecumenical study shows why congregations grow

A plan to recruit and incorporate newcomers, clarity of mission and ministry, contemporary worship, involvement of children in worship, geographic location, a website and the absence of conflict are key factors in why some congregations in America are growing, according to the latest national survey of U.S. faith communities.

I haven’t read the whole story or the study it is reporting on. Of interest is the statement

The report notes that “when all congregations are combined, there is very little relationship between growth and theological orientation. In fact, the proportion growing is highest on the two end points: predominantly conservative congregations and liberal congregations (growth rates of 38% and 39%, respectively).”

“More important than theological orientation is the religious character of the congregation and clarity of mission and purpose,” the report continues. “Growing churches are clear about why they exist and about what they are to be doing.”

I think the latter quote is key. So many mainline churches are “lukewarm” and the more liberal or conservative the more likely the church is to have a very clear (hard?) definition of what they are about.


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