The strap-line of our diocese is, ‘A Bigger Church makes a Bigger Difference’. It’s a good aim to want a growing church and not a shrinking one.
At the moment, there’s lots in the press about churches getting older and smaller and this might be true for most churches. But there are some churches growing. It’s intriguing to know why one church grows when the others around it are shrinking. The reason might be obvious if the popular church is ‘stealing’ people from the less popular ones. But that’s not always the case. So how is the growing church attracting people who haven’t been to church before?
By the time you read this, the churchwardens and I will have been to a four- day course called ‘Grow your Church’. I’m wondering what they’ll say.
Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, North -West London, is very interested in why some churches grow and he’s looked at what is different about these growing churches. I’ve summarised his findings into 10 tips. He gives these tips in his usual outspoken way!
The Bishop of Willesden’s Tips for Growing your Church:
I’m not sure if Bishop Pete is being provocative or not. Would you stop going to a church if the coffee was ‘grotty’? Perhaps the best pubs are those which are ‘rough’ and ‘old’! And many of our best people in church have been there a long time! But perhaps number 5 is interesting.
We know unless things change they die. But what changes and how might these be done? Fortunately, at St Stephen’s, our church council has wise Godly people and we will think long and hard before any change. What changes do you think we should make at St Stephen’s?
- Revd. Jan Ashton
Vicar of Hightown, Liverpool