Monday, June 23, 2008

Seven Critical Activities For Growth

The “market” for new church members is huge today. Studies say 60-70% of the people in any urban center are not attending church (or a temple or mosque for that matter). So why are new church starts failing at the same rate as Amway distributors? The reasons are the same — there is no substitute for consistently doing the right things with your time. Great churches and great network marketing businesses are built by focusing on activities rather than outcomes.

Critical Network Marketing (and New Church Start) Activities
I personally know two married couples that have achieved remarkable success in network marketing, building businesses with more than 5,000 customers that generate between $250,000 and $900,000 per year. In both cases they achieved critical mass in less than 3 years. They attribute their results to consistently executing and teaching their seven critical business activities. Not surprisingly there is a large over lap between these critical seven and those present in a successful new church starts.

Much like network marketing, building a new church from scratch requires a commitment to consistent activity. Can you see the parallels?

Build Contact List = Build contact list (this includes mailing lists)
Set Appointments = Invite to worship services or events
Make Presentations = Relevant worship services or events
48-hour Follow up = Follow-up with guests and ask for referrals
Celebrate Success = Celebrate guests/new members/inviting
Team-Based Training = Bible study/small groups/new member class
Lead By Example = Commitment to consistent, authentic activity

All of these activities need to be imbedded in the culture of new churches. From my perspective most of these critical activities represent a unique opportunity to create a beneficial church culture. In the remaining 7 blogs we will explore each activity in turn.

Until then, would you add anything to this list of Critical Seven?

1 comment:

maco said...

I would also add this. I know this may sound crazy and radical, but...

There is a lesson that can be learned by Jim Jones, David Karesh, and other "cults”: grow by meeting the needs of the marginalized. While they pimped and took advantage of the marginalized, they also provided unmet needs, i.e. love, hope, community, security, leadership. They went were few churches and denominations were afraid to go, and still afraid to go.

This is Jesus model as outlined in Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:16-21. Preach good tidings/news to the poor, bind the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, "This is God's year to act!" Christianity grew with the marginalized because of Christ message.

I believe that many churches have focused on growth in the suburbs and have turned away from the least of these or marginalized of society. Thus leaving an unmet need to those who thirst for love, truth, and community.

So who may be the marginalized of today: gays, poor people, young people, homeless people, hungry people, those infected and affected by HIV, entertainers, those who don't look like church. They are hurting, and they need love, truth, and community. So therein lies the need, will the church fill it or will sexual addiction, drug addiction, prison community, gangs, street culture, myspace and facebook, or tv meet these needs.

That is the challenge on the table.

What has to happen? The church must meet the needs of the marginalized and engage them in community around faith.

What can’t happen again? The church cannot pimp or try to control the marginalized. That has already happened, and that is why so many people have an angst towards institutionalized religion.

Maco L. Faniel
Copyright © 2008 Maco L. Faniel. All rights reserved