There is plenty of cynicism associated with church growth. “We tried that and it didn’t work” is everywhere.
Committee rooms are littered with the growth tools of the past. Some worked…many did not. It feels like a shot in the dark.
Beneath the mechanics of church growth, there is a deep energizing source that can give life and vigor to our methods. This source is often the difference between the success and failure of any method.
We are talking about values.
There are seven recurring values that tend to be deeply present in congregations that multiply ministries and congregations:
Compassion for lost people
Developing and releasing leaders
Great Commission orientation
Culturally relevant style
Confidence in God
No congregation embodies all of these values perfectly. However, there is ample evidence that growing congregations are consciously advancing and aspiring to these values. (A “multiplication values assessment” tool for congregations can be found here.)
Values are generally matters of the heart. Each of the seven multiplication values are attitudes that put a powerful spin on the mechanics of church growth. They can rescue us from the cynicism and skepticism that easily swamps a new growth strategy. More than that, multiplication values can make the mechanics of growth flow with energy and freedom.
Rev. Ben Ingebretsonis director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church.