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Use CMS to Grow Your Church
By: Dick Webber

This is a time when across the country more than 60 percent of all churches are experiencing budget shortfalls and stagnant membership growth. In parts of the country, more than 78 percent of churches have budget problems, and in the strongest area of the U.S., 62 percent of churches have the same problem.

This also means that if 63 percent of churches have budget and membership problems in an area, then 38 percent are growing and are financially solid.

What accounts for the difference?

There are many reasons that can contribute to these differences. If we think of the problem as though a sports team, we know a wise coaching staff of a team with a shrinking win-loss ratio takes the team back to basics. Each player is taught the basics of their position, and the team as a whole learns the elements of play-making tactics. The church can learn from this.

Many churches have responded to shrinking revenues and stagnant membership by cutting staff and ministries. This is almost certain to lead to further losses. What alternative is there? There is another way.

Take your church back to the basics of our Christian faith. Scripture is clear about what the role of the Christian community should be about.

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19-20
"Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business." John 2:16
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
"So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Romans 14:19
"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:1-2
"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." - 1 Peter 4:10

These scriptures are a few that help us understand our responsibility to care for the congregation and reach out to those who are un-churched. These verses don't say, "if you have time," or "if you think about it." They are commandments!

Two areas of ministry are clear

Minister to and serve members of the congregation
Reach out to bring the Good News to the un-churched

These are important elements of the responsibility of every congregation. They require no extravagant building or elegant trappings. No expensive outlays are needed. Every church can implement programs to ensure these ministries are carried out responsibly and in keeping with our scriptural obligations.

Dick Webber is president of RDS Advantage, www.rdsadvantage.com.

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