Growing your church

Thoughts for your
Regional Minister

By: Ken Marston

From time to time, church leaders ask what can be done to help their congregation grow. That question doesn’t have a simple answer, or one that will fit every situation.

Part of the reason is that the community in which each congregation resides is different. Some are growing and some are shrinking. Effective approaches to church growth vary depending on the situation.

Another reason centers around the willingness to make the fundamental changes that will be necessary to reach new generations of people. These changes mean giving up some of our basic understandings of what it means to be the church and the practices of church life that have meant a lot to the current membership. Diana Butler Bass talks about this as the ability to practice radical Christian hospitality — the ability to really make room in our common life for someone new to feel like they belong.

Making significant progress on any challenge requires effective leadership, which can come from both ministers and laity. The Kansas Leadership Center offers high-quality training to help people exercise leadership more effectively, whether in church, at work, or in other organizations; in turn helping those groups more readily accomplish their purposes. 

2019 is the second year of partnership with the Kansas Leadership Center, a partnership that has allowed us to send some 35-40 individuals from 20 different congregations to their training programs. 17 more training slots are available for 2019; we do not expect this grant to renew for 2020. If you are want to learn how to help your congregation make progress more effectively, go to or contact me to sign up for this training.

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