Recently I did a series of posts on the Top Three Growth Barriers that all churches face, regardless of size (click here to read), and from the feedback I’ve received it was helpful to many of you.
One question that I have gotten (and often get at live events about this) is about SPACE, the top growth barrier:
“Is there such thing as a ‘too much space’ barrier?”
In other words, while the lack of adequate worship space is an obvious limiting factor, is it possible that having too large of a space for too few people can limit your church’s growth as well?
And the answer is Yes, but…
Yes, too much space can hinder growth, but only in relatively extreme cases. Keep in mind that most people feel most comfortable in a room that’s 40-50% full.
However, when you are facing this situation (let’s say: 100 people meeting in an 800-seat school auditorium):
1) People get so spread out that they feel awkward (and lose the “corporate worship” feeling)
2) The room loses “energy” – even a Big Day can feel small if the room is too big
3) Your church can appear disconnected from reality
But there’s good news:
It’s much easier to make a large space feel small than it is to find or build more space.
With strategic use of pipe and drape, folding room dividers or seat covers, you can effectively “shrink the space” of an over-sized room to fit a crowd of just about any size.
One company we’ve used to help us make a large space feel smaller is:
They provide pipe and drape (like what’s used at conventions and trade shows) that works great to make a cavernous space feel more cozy.
Whatever method(s) you decide to use, be sure that they’re easily adjustable — because as your church grows, you need the flexibility to keep opening up more and more seats.
Have a great week!
P.S. To learn the nine most common growth barriers that churches of all sizes face AND the tools to break through them, check out The Breaking Growth Barriers Workshop – A live recording of my popular six-hour workshop. It’s available for Immediate Download or as a 5-CD Set.
“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but the signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
– Sydney J. Harris, Journalist
Each month in the Free Church Leader Insights Newsletter, I include least one book recommendation (in addition to all of the articles, podcast training, events and more).
I pick only the best of the best of what I read and share a book that will help you lead your church more effectively.
Just in case you missed this month’s Newsletter (click here to make sure you don’t miss another one), I wanted to share the leadership book I recommended:
by Dave Anderson
“I first listened to this book on CD, then read it twice and now our Executive Staff is studying it together – it’s that good! John Maxwell and Jim Rohn have certainly influenced Dave Anderson but he also brings a lot of insight from his own experience as a Christian leader to this fast-paced, ‘in your face’ book on leadership. If you only read his ‘takeaways’ at the end of each chapter, this book will more than pay for itself . . . and it will make you a better leader too.”
The Church Leader Insights Newsletter is designed to bring you the best available material on Church Growth, Evangelism, Leadership and Church Planting every month – and all you have to do is check your email!
If you don’t already have your Free Subscription, you can click this link to sign up right now.
For all of you who have read my book Fusion or listened to The Assimilation Seminar, you know that part of the Assimilation System that I teach is emailing out a brief online survey to every First Time Guest that attends The Journey.
There are a couple of reasons behind this survey: 1) To get an idea of their first impressions and genuinely assess how we’re doing as much as possible, and 2) To reinforce the positive experience they had and hopefully prompt them to come again.
Now, not everyone is willing to respond to a survey, but when they do it often says a lot about how we’re doing as a church.
Today I wanted to share a big win for our team at The Journey… here’s a survey response we received from First Time Guest last week:
What did you notice first?
I noticed smiling faces everywhere, how organized everything was (literature, tables, etc.), and a joyful spirit in everyone I saw or spoke to. For me, it can be a little intimidating as a first time in a new church. I like it to be more of a personal process and just get a ‘feel’ for it. Some churches, with all the best intentions, can be overpowering with things like ‘receiving lines’ at the front door, name tags, escorts to a seat, asked that first timers stand up, etc. When I entered The Journey on Sunday, I didn’t feel descended upon, just welcomed.
What Did You Like Best?
I loved the great music that lead off the service – very engaging. I especially liked that the service seemed designed to be interactive (connection card, worksheet), was relative to daily life, didn’t have a judgmental tone, and wasn’t preachy.
The Journey has a wonderful atmosphere. Several times I looked around at the members and was really pleased to see that people were attentive, engaged, and just plain smiling a lot. That doesn’t happen by accident.
Wow! That’s a great response – I was able to share this with our team to celebrate the win, PLUS just the very act of completing this survey served to reinforce the positive experience that this person had in their first visit to The Journey.
How do you solicit feedback from your newcomers? What can you start doing this weekend to find out what they’re experiencing at your church?
P.S. For a step-by-step process to help First Time Guests become Fully Committed Members of your church, check out The Assimilation Seminar.
This three hour seminar has helped thousands of churches just like yours do a better job of integrating new people into the life of their church – why not you?
In Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups, Kerrick Thomas and I lay out a proven system of semester-based, free market small groups that you can implement to see 80, 90, or even 100% participation in small groups at your church (we regularly see well over 100% of our weekly attenders involved in groups).
However, we also employ a very different type of group at The Journey on a regular basis:
Play Groups are one-time events, primarily designed for new people or a particular niche in our church.
They are what it sounds like – a chance to have some fun and get to know some other people from The Journey.
These groups are low commitment – one time only, just show up and pay your own way.
Some examples could include: going bowling, meeting up at a ball game, or simply going to see a movie together (one of my personal favorites).
We use play groups mainly during times when we have a lot of new people coming into our church who can’t get connected to a regular small group immediately (ie: in the middle of group semesters, like July or after Easter). They also serve as a pre-small group promotion strategy just before a new semester starts.
Play groups are really just fun events – anyone can attend, but we normally target our invitations to new people.
P.S. For a great primer on the Activate Small Group System and how to implement it at your church, check out The Activate Seminar.
Since releasing The Staffing Workshop this summer, I’ve been blown away by the great feedback from pastors and churches all over the country who are already reaping the benefits of re-vamping their staffing processes.
One vitally important item that I talk about in the workshop is to be abundantly clear about who you want to hire for a position AND who you don’t want to hire.
This means that not only do you have to know who you’re looking for, but the ads and job listings you write must spell out your expectations so clearly that the wrong candidates won’t even bother applying.
As Jason Hatley (Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey and Founder of Worship Leader Insights) was looking to recruit some new band members recently, he put this principle into practice with this statement:
This is not a “thrown together, disorganized, cheap gear, let’s wing it and see what happens” kind of gig. Attention to detail, personal preparation and a commitment to excellence are a must. Great venue, great gear, great Church!
My hope today is that this little snippet will help you visualize the concept of being clear who you want (and don’t want).
Think about it – if you’re not a serious musician who’s willing to put in the hard work to be a part of this team… you won’t apply!
And isn’t that the point of recruiting – to find the right person?
So here’s the principle (straight from The Staffing Workshop):
Write your position descriptions or paid ads so you attract who you want and repel who you don’t want
Who are you looking for? Now, how do you plan to find them?
P.S. For the most comprehensive resource on church staffing – covering Recruiting, Hiring, Managing, and “De-hiring” – check out The Staffing Workshop.
“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
— Dale Carnegie
I really enjoyed my recent “Top 3 Growth Barriers Tour,” where I got to meet and interact with many of you all over the country, and it got me thinking…
Did you know that there are a number of CLI Certified Trainers that lead training events based on my content all over the country?
These are proven pastors who have learned and implemented these same principles and systems in their own churches – in addition to that, many of them have actually helped me hone and refine the content over the years in coaching networks and through their “from the frontlines” feedback.
Here are some CLI Trainer-led Events coming up in the next few weeks that you might be interested in (click each one for more info or to Register Now):
If you’re within driving distance, do yourself a favor and Register Today – you’ll be glad you did!
P.S. For an ever-updated list of all upcoming CLI Events, you can always visit:
Did you get this month’s Church Leader Insights Newsletter?
Each month I send out the latest and best thinking on Church Growth, Evangelism, Leadership, Church Planting, and more – the best church leadership content I can find - designed to help you lead your church to greater health and growth.
And the best part…. It’s absolutely FREE! (click here to sign-up now).
Just in case you missed this month’s edition, here’s a sneak peek at a great article from my friend and former boss Rick Warren:
“Despite a tough economy, we need to keep asking the right question when it comes to evangelism; rather than ask, “How much will it cost?” we must ask, “Who will it reach?” . . . money spent on evangelism is an investment. Rather than seeing your evangelism budget as an expense, see it as an investment. The people you reach will more than repay the cost you invested to reach them.”
The Church Leader Insights Newsletter is designed to bring you the best available church leadership content each and every month – and all you have to do is check your email!
If you’re not already subscribed, you can click this link to sign up right now.
My new Tele-Coaching Network for Senior Pastors is just TWO DAYS AWAY - it starts THIS THURSDAY.
I’m so pumped about the great group of pastors who are already signed up for this network, but I have to mention that this is your LAST CALL to get in on this network (so if you’re one of those people that just has to wait ’til the last minute… this is it!).
The time leading up to a new network is always a great time for me to tell you about some of my recent coaching alumni and all that God is doing through them.
So this morning I’d like to introduce Craig Walker, Lead Pastor of Lifeway Church in Celina, Texas. Craig is an experienced church planter and pastor and he’s passionate about doing what it takes to reach people for Christ.
Enjoy the brief video below, where Craig tells a little about what’s been going on in his church through the coaching network:
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Are you ready to stretch yourself and grow your church over the next twelve months like never before?
This new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network is essentially FULL, but I can squeeze you in if you APPLY TODAY!
The network begins THIS THURSDAY, so this is the LAST CALL – Apply Now at:
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