bits from bob....

Why Is This Church Growing? Questions for the Church

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Through 41 years of ministry, I have had a bit of ministry experience with churches. Yet, in one sense, the experience is not all that much. We spent 12 years in Christian higher education. We spent 20 years with two churches that grew marvelously. The remainder of our full-time ministry was spent with four churches. Three of those churches represent our first six years in ministry. We were green; it was a different world; we were learning as we went. During our years in higher education, we served at least six churches as interim minister. Today, I serve as a church consultant and assist with interim ministries.

I am often asked why some churches grow and others do not. What makes the difference? What differences can one identify or point to? What causes one church to move forward wonderfully and another to struggle? I do not claim to have all the answers. I can tell you that from my observation, it is not solely the minister. In fact, it is seldom the minister. Many churches grow despite turnover and problems with ministers.

To try to answer the question, I have thought about the churches I know, those with which I have worked. I have analyzed my full-time ministry settings, and the churches that I have known intimately through interim ministry or church consultations. From that analysis, I have developed a set of questions that may provide a beginning point for answering the question about why churches have different results.