CHURCH BUILDING GUIDELINES
By Ken Blue
The average church in America and Canada has about 75 in attendance. In some parts of the country, that may be the best anyone could do. However, many are averaging less in greatly populated areas.
I do not believe some pastors are reaching their full potential. They have hit a glass ceiling. Some are stuck in a rut of faulty training about church growth. A few pastors think their church will grow if they preach great sermons. It will not. Others believe if they get many professions of faith the church will grow, again, it will not. Although the above are important, they are only part of the reasons people attend church. You may be able to do better than you are.
One of the problems for pastors is they continue to attend meetings and conferences hosted by those who believe and practice the same things they themselves are doing. You will learn very little about church growth if that is your little world. You should branch out and learn from others who are making things happen. It may surprise you, but lost people do not visit because you are a K.J.V, independent, premillennial, dispensational, Baptist. All those things are good, but they mean nothing to the unsaved.
Here are some reasons the unsaved visit churches:
- They are invited by a family member or friend. This is the number one reason.
- Your advertisement is interesting and attention getting, and might meet their perceived needs.
- They have seen your attractive and interesting web page, face book, or you tube add.
- They drive by each day and see your building.
- They feel a need in their life.
- A recent death in the family.
- A recent divorce.
- The birth of a child.
- They want to know about the future.
- They want to know how to be saved.
- It is Christmas or Easter time.
Now, the above are some reasons why people visit your church. However, they are not reasons why they will return or stay; that is a different matter altogether. It important for the pastor to know the differences why people visit, why they return, and then set about to improve in each area.
Here are some reasons why people return or stay:
- A friend or family member attends the church.
- They found it easy to make friends. If a person does not have a friend or a family member in the church, they will not stay.
- The members were friendly toward them.
- The gospel was presented in such a manner it was easy for them to trust Christ.
- It was easy to find a parking place.
- Signs clearly directed them where they wanted to go.
- Bathrooms and nurseries were easy to find, and were spotless.
- They were challenged to attend a membership class.
- A follow up letter, visit, or phone call was made.
- Programs were available for the whole family, and were top quality.
- The personality, character, and aptitude of the pastor was evident.
These are a few reasons people return or stay in your church. Reverse each one, and discover why they never return. If you are going to catch young families for Christ, you must do the right things.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.