Crazy Gospel Math
I sometimes get the opportunity these days to help pastors and congregations think about growth. Here is a formula I use when I consult. Take your sanctuary capacity; multiply it by .75 and double it. That is your target. I see a lot of churches in USAmerica that were constructed to seat about 200 comfortably so let’s use this as a starting place. Multiplying 200 by 75% will give you 150; so double it to get 300. Your building would allow you to comfortably reach 300 people each week in two Sunday morning services. Doing two Sunday services with Sunday School in between is really quite efficient and easily done.
Now for the big question, how do you get those people to attend? The answer is elementary; you invite them.
Now let’s get out our Crazy Gospel Math calculator; I want to suggest that a church with a sanctuary that holds 200 and averages 100 in attendance each week can be less than two years away from reaching their building potential of 300. Two years! In the parable of the Parable of the Sower Jesus promises that some of the seeds we sow will fall on receptive hearts and yield a good harvest. Not all of them or most of them but some of them. Imagine that your 100 people decided to offer one invitation to worship to a different person every week for the next year. That would be 52 invites per person and a total of 5,200 personal invitations to worship. Now imagine that only one out of the 52 resulted in someone who actually plugged into your church. After one year, your church would be running over 200 each weekend. And if those two hundred did the same thing and had the same yield of 1 in 52 results, you would be maxed out at 300 in a year and a half.
The key is most simple: Volume. You simply have to make the invitations. It is staggering to think what God could do with 100 people who are willing to risk something as “do-able” as inviting one person a week to church. If you disagree, I invite you to try it and prove me wrong.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997. In that time the church has grown from 200 to over 2,000 in worship attendance.