There are tons of statistics of churches across the world that prove how difficult it is to grow a church in today’s culture. We see statistics of the large number of college students leaving the church. Put these two ideas together, and the hope of growing a church is ultra slim. From what I have seen and observed, the pastor is a key component to the growth of the church. I want to share a few traits and characteristics of pastors pastoring growing churches.
- They are Spirit Led – This is the most important characteristic. I have seen to many pastors who are people led. This means that their decision-making is totally up to how it will please or displease the people. Now, this is a huge part of pastoring. I recognize that, but if you allow the people to trump the spirit, do not expect your church to grow.
- They are Risk Takers – Some pastors are afraid to take risk. Look, if you want to grow your church take risk regularly. This should be a regular part of your position. Most of the time when the spirit leads you to do something, it will be a risk. If you play it safe all of the time, your church will not grow.
- They are willing to Engage Students – I have been in traditional churches for the most part of my life, and the reality is that if the church and pastor are not willing to engage students (high school and college), the church is headed for an early death. The growing churches are engaging this age. You may have to change the way you do church, the way you do ministry, and your methods. If the church only seeks to engage the adults, the church will not grow. Look at your congregation, and if you are losing the majority of your college students, that will indicate if you are engaging students or not.
- They are Visionaries – Know where you are going, pastors. If I asked you where are you headed and how are you going to get there, have an answer for that! Most pastors don’t have an answer to this question, and their church is likely not growing. Be a visionary and regularly be a vision caster to the people you are leading.
- They are Learners – Never stop learning. The best leaders of churches do not stop learning. They are constantly reading, writing, and growing themselves. Pastors, you never reach a point where you have all of the answers. You have to continue growing yourself before you can grow others. Lead yourself before you can lead others.