Success is not necessarily a numbers issue. I know plenty of large churches that may look successful on the outside, but are not doing God’s work. I also know of small churches, considered by many as “faithful guardians of the truth” who are nothing more than a social club. The reverse is also true, there are plenty of churches, both large and small, doing great work for the Kingdom of God. Although numbers are not the only thing we should look at, every number represents a soul and so numbers are valuable to God.
So, if it’s not numbers that reveal whether a church is successful or not, what can we look at to define success?
What are the landmarks of successful work? Is it determined by the radical new children’s program, quality of worship, size of a congregation, bank account, or building?
Here are twelve markers of success.
In my line of work, the success of a new church is too often determined solely by the size of the launch and a maintained growth pattern. Both are important, but not the only factors to use when deciding whether a new church is successful.
A successful new church should be…
- Financially self-sustaining within two years. (Urban Plants may be longer)
- Self-governing after two-years.
- Multiplication minded. (Involved in planting other churches from day one.)
- Giving 10%, from day one, towards missions (Out of weekly offerings).
- Growth which comes primarily through conversion.
- At least 45% of attendees actively volunteering in the church.
- Engaged in transforming the community. (Not just individuals)
- Growing numerically.
- Developing new leaders for ministry.
- Members are continually and actively inviting their neighbors to church and sharing their faith journey with those around them.
- At least 80% involved in small groups by year-two.
- Actively involved in foreign missions work.