The Nine Leverage Points of Growth
By: Bill Easum
Twenty years of consulting has taught me there are nine leverage points in either growing a faithful, biblical church or turning around a dying church. Understanding and applying these leverage points in their order of importance makes everything else much easier.
For example, we know that the easiest way to grow a church is by starting another service of worship. However, if the first two leverage points are in place, starting that service may become a disaster. However, if the first two leverage points are in place, starting another service will be a piece of cake.
I’m going to discuss these leverage points in the order of their chronological importance. When they are accomplished in this order, transformation or innovation happens easier and without as much resistance.
1. A Solid Community of Faith
• Individuals who are growing spiritually
The bottom line of the faithful church is seen in its radical desire to be a blessing to their community and the world in order that they know Jesus.
2. An Owned and Managed Mission Statement
Many churches have a mission statement, but it is seldom owned and managed. By that I mean that most mission statements are too long and convoluted to be remembered, much less used as a guideline for making decisions. So, most mission statements reside on some shelf in the office gathering dust. An owned and managed mission statement is one that directs every decision a church makes.
3. Indigenous Worship
For worship to be indigenous, it must be in the language, technology, and culture of the people you are trying to reach. Worship in most dying churches is indigenous to the last century and fails to bring most people today into God’s presence. Indigenous worship transforms people because it is safe place to hear a dangerous Gospel. Worship that isn’t indigenous to our times doesn’t transform people because it is a dangerous place to hear a safe Gospel.
4. A Mobilized Congregation
5. Redemptive Missional Opportunities
Faithful churches do not do outreach ministries just to do them; they do them in order to change both society and the lives of the people they touch. Dying churches usually do outreach ministry without any redemptive element attached. They may have a food pantry, but they don’t offer Christ along with the food. Faithful churches know that feeding the poor is important, but feeding their soul is equally important.
6. Organizing Around the DNA
These first five leverage points are the heart of a faithful, biblical church. The next four leverage points play a supportive role to these first five.
7. Staffing for Growth
The primary role of staff in a faithful church is to equip the congregation or the work of ministry. Staff functions as scouts and coaches rather than doers of ministry, and the first and most important staff a church hires, other than the pastor, is a full-time worship leader.
8. The Importance of Space and Place
• Giving people away to plant churches
9. Radical Generosity
Radical Generosity is the result of six things:
• A clear and compelling mission
Bill Easum is president of 21st Century Strategies, Inc. a full service church consulting group since 1987 whose mission is to equip Christian for global impact. You can learn more about 21st Century Strategies at www.churchconsultations.com. He is a consultant, author, ex-pastor, futurist, husband, and father, who enjoys releasing Billfish. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up with him at his blog, www.billeasum.com.