Observations from N.A.M.B.‘s Ed Stetzer:
– In the early stages, a church plant grows from the sole efforts of the church planter.
– As a team gathers, the core group helps the church grow by inviting their social network.
– At launch, the church grows from advertising and outreach events.
– In the post-launch lull when social pools are tapped and money is gone, the church grows when non-staff people in the church start additional ministries and small groups.
– As momentum gains and ministries expand, the church grows through word-of-mouth.
– To grow any further, the church has to form sub-congregations within the larger whole. Second services, additional locations, age-based congregations, etc.
– At critical mass, the crowd draws other crowds.
– The final stage of growth is church reproduction… or else decline.