Common Characteristics of Growing Churches

When I was 28, I attended a conference sponsored by Robert Schuller at the Crystal Catheral. The conference primarily consisted of pastors of churches that had been impacted by Dr. Schuller’s ministry. I found my summary from this conference.

Common Characteristics of the 10 Growing Churches that spoke at Schuller Institute-January 24-26, 1990.

1. Vision- They had a vision that was focused and their purpose always remained in sight. (Eye of the Tiger-Rocky 3)

2. Invested their life- 8 of the 10 pastors that spoke had spent at least 15 years at their church. All had been at their churches for over 9 years. Their vision and their churches growth did not take place overnight.

3. Pastor-led churches- The pastor was the leader and made the significant decisions. Schuller stated we hire management that can make church a full-time thought, but the laity must own the ministry. The staff must have a unified vision, purpose, and programs. They must be willing to lose their individual identity.

4. Risk Takers- They attempted great things for God. They received millions of dollars to pay for the property but in each case they signed for the note long before the money was available.

5. Need-Oriented Programs- Each church’s program was diverse but they all had found the needs in their community and met them. Their programs were not dictated by the denomination.

This conference made a tremendous impact on my ministry. Some questions to consider:

1. Do you have a vision?
2. Are you willing to invest your life in your ministry?
3. If you are a pastor or staff member, how’s your leadership?
4. Are you allowing the laity to own the ministry?
5. Are you taking risks or staying in the comfort zone?
6. Are you willing to honestly evaluate your programs to insure that they are helping you accomplish your vision?


About drmarkmiller

I serve as the Sunday School, Discipleship, Small Groups Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention
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