The single most important factor in predicting whether a church doubles is not the number of visitors; it is the percentage that stick around. It is the Velcro Factor; not the Magnet Factor.
My research indicates that there is very little difference between doubling churches and non-doubling churches with respect to the Magnet Factor. Both doubling churches and non-doubling churches have visitors. Both have around 3% - 5% visiting. This is plenty of visitors to double. The big difference between doubling churches and non-doubling churches is that in doubling churches, the visitors stick around. Doubling churches are sticky. This is the single most important factor in predicting the growth of a church.
The single most important factor in predicting whether visitors stick around does not have to do with what happens on stage. It has to do with how much we pay attention to the visitor. This is a classic error. We tend to focus on what we do. The visitor is focused on himself. If you want visitors to stick around, shift your focus from yourself to him.
I knew one pastor who did this in a very simple, but workable way. He had brown bag lunch with two visiting families a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays he would have his secretary pick up some Subway sandwiches. She would also call and arrange one couple to join him for lunch at the church. Simple. Inexpensive. Do-able. He told me 90% of those he shared a Subway with joined the church. Why? He paid attention the them. This most important factor in predicting whether visitors stick around is whether or not we pay attention to them personally. This is why giving Friday nights to Jesus works so beautifully. It is a systematic and consistent way to pay attention to them.
The most important factor in predicting the growth of a church is the Velcro factor. The most important factor in predicting Velcro factor is the Attention Factor: who we pay attention to. The most important factor in predicting the Attention Factor is the Leadership Factor. John Maxwell is right. Everything rises and falls on leadership. The most important component of the leadership equation is example.
Leading by example is the single most important factor in predicting whether there will be widespread acceptance of the Double Your Class/TIGER/Give Friday Nights to Jesus/Invite Every Member and Every Prospect to Every Fellowship Every Month strategy. If the paid professionals cannot find time to give Friday nights to Jesus, it is not likely that anyone else will find time. Asking people to do what we are unwilling to do is always a tricky proposition. Bill Hybels, is right, the leader must embody the vision.
The happy news is this. In a medium- sized church of, say, 400 in Sunday School, if the staff alone gives Friday nights to Jesus on a regular basis, perhaps every other week, it will make a huge difference. Let’s do the math. If this medium-sized church has 4 full-time staff who each gives two Friday nights to Jesus a month, and only has a family join half the time, that will mean 4 families a month joining just from their individual efforts. Four families a month is 48 families a year. If each family has three and attend half the time it will increase this church’s attendance by 73.
That is 18% growth–more than enough to double every five years or less.
My real point, however, is highlighted in the opposite scenario. If the full-time, paid, professional staff cannot find time to give Friday nights to Jesus, trust me, no one, and I mean no one else will find time.
The single most important factor in predicting the growth of a church is the Velcro factor–what percentage of visitors stick around.
The single most important factor in predicting the Velcro factor is the Attention Factor–how much personal attention we pay to visitors.
The single best way to pay attention to visitors is to see that someone–and hopefully several someones–invite visitors to lunch, pizza or an evening of card playing.
The single most important factor in predicting whether people invite visitors to lunch is the example of the leadership.
Perhaps this is why Paul made hospitality a qualification for leadership in the Christian church: “These pastors must. . . enjoy having guests in their home.” Titus 1:7-8 (Living)
We must not only have guests in our home, but enjoy it. It is the most important thing. If we do that, we can lead others to do so. If we do that, we can enjoy a healthy Velcro factor and see plenty of visitors join, many of them accepting God's love for them for the first time. If we can do that, we can double our churches in five years or less. If we can do that, we can see the Church double in the next twenty years.
Through Christ who strengthens us, we can double the church to the glory of God.
What do teachers need in order to double?Tigers grow in a certain habitat. Particular climate. Particular food. Particular environment.
T.I.G.E.R.s grow in a particular environment as well. A particular vision cast in a particular way. A particular love communicated a particular way. A particular kind of teacher recruited in a particular way. A particular kind of training. Particular resources provided so T.I.G.E.R.s can grow healthy and strong.
This resource, targeted specifically to pastors and church staff details specifically how to create a church habitat where T.I.G.E.R.s can thrive.