Growing the Church…
In 2014 the Church Growth Research Programme published a report, having studied churches across the United Kingdom that are growing. The research had been thoroughly carried out and the findings analysed – some of the findings may come as no surprise to you, others may be a complete surprise. They concluded that, while there is no single recipe, there are common ingredients strongly associated with growth in churches of any size, place or context:
- Good leadership
- A clear mission and purpose
- A willingness to self-reflect, to change and adapt according to
- Involvement of all church members
- Being intentional in prioritising growth
- Being intentional in
chosenstyle of worship
- Being intentional in nurturing disciples
As I look through this list, I am encouraged that many of these ingredients are evident at Derriford United Reformed Church. When I preached in February I was delighted to be inundated by ideas on how the church might reach out to the community and engage in new mission opportunities. I believe you are a people of faith, with great ideas; and as we discern the way forward, I pray that we will see the church grow in holiness, unity, effectiveness and numbers.
You may like to use this prayer for growth that we have used in our worship recently:
God our Creator and Redeemer,
help your church to grow in holiness,
unity, effectiveness and numbers.
Draw us closer to you
and those around us.
Give us enthusiasm in our faith,
and wisdom in sharing it
with young and old.
Open our eyes to new opportunities,
our lips to speak of you,
and our hearts to welcome
Grow your kingdom in us
and in the world,
in the name of Jesus and
in the power of the Holy Spirit.