C3 Powerhouse Melbourne East:
Churches of Service Are Growing
As a result of a general trend toward decreased attendance, aging membership, and a prolonged reduction in contributions, many churches have been steadily declining in health in recent years. The current recession has had a negative impact on finances, according to more than eighty% of congregations. In general, only 3 to 5% of persons contribute money to a church tithe (give 10% of their income). Jesus once declared, forever changing His followers' perceptions of His mission; yet, clearly, C3 PowerHouse Melbourne East churches have floundered in their efforts to stay relevant, solvent, and vital as communities shift culturally and struggle financially.
Many other churches, on the other hand, are booming. They are expanding not simply in terms of size and resources, but also in terms of relevance and value to the communities they serve. The number of megachurches, or congregations with 2,000 or more people attending each week, has surged by roughly 100 percent in the last ten years. One tendency was a move toward a missional community presence, in which the congregation sees its neighborhood as more than just a pool of prospects; rather, they love it. They give back to their communities.
In a nutshell, churches that prosper are those that serve others. They are aware of the needs of both their church and their community. These are churches that identify community and congregational objectives, set outreach and evangelism goals, and put a plan in place to achieve those goals.
Churches of Service
First, the Good Samaritan determined the brutally beaten man's needs. He was well aware that dismounting his donkey would be a lengthy task. More than spare change and a "God bless you" were required for this man. What are the unmet needs in your neighborhood?
Many churches start initiatives and services without first determining what the community needs. It's critical to do a Community Needs Assessment to identify priority areas of need if you want to be a successful, visible church (tutoring, child care, education, etc). The congregation should then become aware of available resources to address the highlighted challenges. Instead of duplicating services that put you in competition with other churches or community NGOs, the church can focus its energies and resources where shortages in services exist. A Community Needs Assessment's data can be synthesized and expanded upon to find the greatest outreach options as well as the best collaboration and support opportunities for existing services.
Success is a Decision
Churches that are successful do not appear out of anywhere. Successful churches have a purposeful and conscious approach to achieve the same level of success as the Early Church: "They focused on the apostles' teaching and fellowship, as well as the breaking of bread and prayer... They sold their possessions and sold their property to give to anyone in need... They ate together with joy and sincerity, thanking God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord continued to add to their number those who were being saved on a daily basis."
Is it time for your church to decide whether or not it wants to succeed? To make the decision to advance? To make the decision to provide more? To make the decision to help others? Or will your church merely exist or, more likely, deteriorate?