Executive pastors with innovative, forward-thinking leadership skills are worth their weight in gold, and their always on the lookout for growth hacks. Their ability to map out a clear route to your church’s ideal future greatly simplifies the church growth process—and looks a lot more technical and difficult than it truly is.
If you’re curious about how forward-thinking leadership works, check out these four growth hacks:
Growth Hack 1: Find and develop leaders
When a forward-thinking executive pastor plans for future growth, they’re cognizant of the dangers related to outgrowing their ability to lead effectively. If their church grows to a point where they take their eyes off future goals to focus on day-to-day management, they’re restricting their long-term effectiveness.
A leader who has surveyed the territory before setting their course knows that they’ll need more leaders who can deal with the daily challenges so they can continue to focus their attention on growth itself. As the church grows, they’ll need to grow the base of managers and leaders to maintain it.
To keep the process as effective as possible, it will need to be simple:
- Define the qualities expected in leaders
- Find people in the congregation who meet those qualifications
- Develop their leadership abilities
- Train them to find and develop more leaders
Growth Hack 2: Focus on one key metric
Church-growth books and blogs spout never-ending lists of extremely important factors that you’re supposed to focus on. When there are too many areas to give your attention to, it can become paralyzing.
The key to next-level leadership is the ability to cut through all of that information, prioritize the most important areas to focus on, and create metrics to keep them on track. This doesn’t mean you dismiss other important considerations, but they’re aware that an organization can only really focus on one thing at a time.
Finding “one metric that matters” keeps you and your whole team on the same page. You and your team will know whether or not you’re hitting your growth goals. You will know when to celebrate success and you will know when to put in more effort (and prayer).
This only works if you’re focusing on a concrete metric—that is, something you can objectively measure. That means you will want to stick with something very specific, such as:
- Average weekly attendance
- Number of church members
- Percentage of members who have donated
- Percentage of members who are recurring givers
You can see where this is going. If you want to grow your church, focus on one specific metric.
Growth Hack 3: Get your church invested in recurring giving
We all know that regular income is a prerequisite for church growth. If your congregation’s giving is sporadic and unreliable, it’s difficult to make plans. Fortunately, it’s as much in the best interest of your congregation’s spiritual maturity to become regular, reliable givers as it is in yours.
A forward-thinking leader realizes that putting the mobile tools your congregation is already using to work for your church is an easy win. If a tool like Pushpay can help them become givers, fantastic. But why not take it one step further and encourage your congregation to commit to deciding on a percentage they’re willing to give this year, and signing up for recurring giving?
This simplifies the whole process and makes goal-setting in other areas so much easier.
Growth Hack 4: Simplify task and project management
While you’re working to realize your goals, your church will need to maintain its regular rhythm of services, outreach projects, ministries, and the like. Not only that, you’re going to need to manage specific goal-related tasks and projects.
Again, forward-thinking executive pastors are all about finding areas they can simplify in order to keep momentum focused on the main objective. There are so many amazing tools to help you keep your people on task and communicating—there’s no reason to waste energy or work hours tracking people down to move the ball forward.
It’s critical that you’re availing yourself of tools that will streamline your tasks, projects, and communications. Don’t miss out on tools like:
- Asana: This will help you break down your projects into steps, assign them to staff or volunteers, and give them all specific due dates.
- Slack: Want to cut down on emails and meetings? Slack is the communication tool that saves time while allowing you to share files, images, PDFs, and documents.
You’ll find these and six more on our list of 8 Tech Tools Every Growing Church Staff Needs. Check them out and simplify your work.
So-called “Growth Hacks” work because church growth isn’t a mystery
Growth hacks are well and good, but the key to growing your church is to have a clear vision of where you want your church to go, and then create a simple map back to where you are. Once you’ve simplified your course and weeded out all the periphery distractions, growth becomes a lot easier.
Check out our free ebook 5 Principles of Fast Church Growth, and discover how America’s 100 fastest-growing, forward-thinking churches were able to map out their own course to church growth.