25 Mar Five Keys to Make Your Church Mega
I’ve been attending a local ‘Mega Church’ for about 3 years now and have been serving for about 2 years regularly. I know all of the stereotypes that come with a mega church – it’s watered-down or “they’re all about the money” or any number of other things. But to be honest, it’s one of the healthiest places I’ve ever been. I’ve grown, been challenged, and continue to dive deeper everyday into what it means to be a Follower of Christ.
So, thanks to my two years serving, I’ve made some observations about what I believe are universal truths that can help just about any church grow. These aren’t absolute, they aren’t even the top 5 keys that make this church tick per se. They are simply keys that they do well and are often contradictory to what I see a lot of other churches doing. Without further ado, here they are.
- TEAM – Do EVERYTHING as a team. This is the most important aspect by far.
- Pastors(and Leaders) – find a small group of people that you trust completely to speak into you and listen to their critiques. They should be people who know you well and want the best for you. They should know how to balance compliments and criticism and have a way of making you a better Follower, speaker, spouse and/or parent. Have them give you feedback on your message, before (help write it), during (if multi-service) and after. Let me be clear – If no one knows at least some of the content of your message until you deliver it, you’re not working as a team. Don’t base this group around who has been there the longest or who was voted in or who gives the most $$$ – it’s all about who you value and trust.
- At every other level in the church, depend on the team dynamic – not that everything must be decided unanimously by committee, but rather that there would be a hierarchy and trust between all. Oh, and every leader should have an apprentice and a mentor…if they don’t, then well…maybe they aren’t really the kind of leader you need.
- BIG STUFF –
- Focus as much of your time as possible on the big things that are most important and most vital to your church’s mission. Talk about beliefs and theology, sure, but spend time talking about your vision and where you hope to be in the future, not just where you are now. Do this to unite your people. Don’t talk down about the church down the street or other facets of Christianity. You probably have ex-catholics, atheist, baptists and who knows what else in the room with you, so remember that not everyone will agree 100% with your theology and that’s OK. It’s the BIG STUFF that matters. Use phrases like “we believe…” and “we think…” when dealing with non-absolutes.
- Talk about major topics that are hitting your community – if you haven’t spoken on an issue in 2-3 years, then you’ve effectively told people to believe whatever they choose.
- Do what’s right. Even if it’s not popular. Stick with your team (see #1)and mentor(s) and trust their counsel. Listen to others as well, but at the end of the day, don’t hesitate if you and your team know what needs to be done.
- OUTWARD – Spend as much money and resources as possible on needs outside your walls. Find organizations that are killing it in your community and invest in them, get behind them and support them in any way that you can. Sure, you can launch your own ministries and potentially ‘compete’ with those already in the field, but you put yourself at risk of appearing petty and in it for your own glory rather than the mission of the Church collectively. Find organizations at each level, ‘Judea, Samaria, and the outermost parts of the world’ to partner with and remind people of what you’re doing and why (see #2).
- ASK MORE – If people believe in what you’re doing, they will rise to extreme levels to meet the needs. If they can’t do it themselves, they’ll find a team and delegate it out. Give them room to make decisions, develop their own methods, and find a way. Give them the authority they need and don’t micro-manage. If they find a way to succeed, they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and in turn, ownership, which is vital to the growth of the church. If they fail, commend them for the things they did accomplish, allow an out, but encourage them to stay engaged.
- AUTHENTICITY MATTERS – We are all human, don’t pretend otherwise.
- Remember, everyone and I mean EVERYONE is broken. If you haven’t confessed a failing in the past month or two (even if it’s something that happened 5 years ago), do it now. In the Church, the facade of strength is actually weakness; transparency and weakness is strength. People don’t need a perfect leader, they need to know that everyone is broken and it’s how they deal with it that’s most important. Address the hard issues, the hard questions, and if you don’t have perfect answers, say so. Don’t pretend to know…and at the end of the day point back to the things you do know (see #2). If the people that are in your congregation find help and hope, they’ll won’t be able to contain it and they’ll bring others back with them.
- Levity matters too. Yes our relationship with God is a big deal and yes, eternity matters…but people do like to smile from time to time. If you can’t laugh at yourselves people will think you’re so pent up and tight that they’ll eventually say something wrong and the whole place will come crashing down around them. Laugh a little, make light of awkward situations and just have fun from time to time – not for the sake of some underlying spiritual reason, just for the sake of fun itself.
So, that’s it. Maybe not ground breaking, but I think following these 5 things, will almost guarantee your church will be stronger and healthier than it was. It may not transform it into a mega church overnight, but it will put you on the path toward growth.