Over 80% of American churches are plateaued or declining. This is why it is such a privilege when you have the opportunity to spend time with and learn from a pastor who is actually experiencing exponential growth.
On June 15th, I was flying home from the Southern Baptist Convention and had the opportunity to sit across the aisle from Matt Olson, Senior Pastor of Big Creek Baptist Church in Waynesboro, MS (pictured on the left). As we started talking I asked him about his family and ministry. I discovered some amazing things from this great leader.
The city of Waynesboro is located in a county of 30,000 people. Yet, under Matt’s leadership, the church has tripled from 50 people in weekend attendance to 150 worshipping weekly at the church.
Let me put this in proper perspective, if you did a ratio of church attendance (150) compared to the local population (30K), Matt is the numerical equivalent to Andy Stanley! For all small church pastors in rural communities, be encouraged by this information.
When I asked Matt, in addition to the Holy Spirit of course, what was causing Big Creek to grow at such a rapid rate, he began to share the church’s story.
As I listened to Matt, I gleaned 4 Things Any Pastor Can Do To Possibly Triple Their Weekend Attendance. Also, Matt has just started a new ministry blog for church leaders. Make sure you encourage him by checking it out HERE. Now onto Matt’s thoughts.
- To Possibly Triple Your Weekend Attendance You Must Teach The Bible With Authority – Nothing changes a human life or a church like God’s Word. Matt told me the church needed someone who would preach the Word consistently and without apology.
- To Possibly Triple Your Weekend Attendance You Must Have Stable And Consistent Leadership – In the church’s 150 history, the longest a pastor ever stayed at the church was six years. High pastoral turnover robs the church of momentum, confidence and trust. Matt has now been there 10 years, six months.
- To Possibly Triple Your Weekend Attendance You Must Love Your Church And Its People Unconditionally – The business world teaches people everything they need to know about conditional love. The church should teach people everything they need to know about unconditional love. Matt said, “They didn’t need great intellect or a superman. They simply needed someone to love them.” Pastors need to be loved as well. Matt added, “And I needed a group to love me.” The church had been burned by short-term pastors too often. They needed reassurance he was not not seeking a way out or to leave them.
- To Possibly Triple Your Weekend Attendance You Must Model Grace And Forgiveness – I was greatly blessed by Matt’s transparency on this issue. He said, “Some of the greatest things I’ve learned is the power of letting go of pain, praying for each other, and restoration!” Matt went on to explain, “One of my deacons and I did not speak for six months. We both prayed God would remove each other and through a time of brokenness, God brought supernatural love. Today, he is one of my best friends.” Matt also shared with me this man is his biggest supporter.
Teach The Bible With Authority, Have Stable And Consistent Leadership, Love Your Church And Its People Unconditionally, and Model Grace And Forgiveness. These are four things any pastor can do through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you faithfully practice these lessons, you too may see your church attendance triple!
Matt, thank you for the insights and a signed copy of my book is in the mail!
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1869 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2015 Global Leadership Summit, That Church, REACT and Catalyst Conferences. If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader. Enjoy!!!