About the middle of last year our church finally made the decision to do something about following a plan for church growth …or so we thought.
- We watched infomercials about 24toDouble & thought we might try it
- They claimed that when you use the system you’ll begin to see growth in attendance & in your finances.
- So we finally bit & applied the discipleship system to see how it worked.
It DID NOT WORK …at first.
In fact at first I thought all we were having was a get together, fellowship or semi-learning session.
As the first day was approaching to begin module “0” I spoke for 4 weeks on subjects related to why we need church growth, new ministry opportunities (especially to kids) & why discipleship is so important.
In the archives of of Jerry’s podcast was a question from a guy who said his church was about 40 people strong & he wanted to know how many of those 40 folks should attend the 24toDouble module sessions to which Jerry quickly replied, “ask all of them to be there due to getting everyone involved.”
Our church here at FCC is only about 90-100 strong & that’s on a really good day and with those side line attenders who come 5 or 6 times a year. We offered a sign-up sheet to join 24toDouble sessions to begin on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 8:30AM until 10AM & 44 people agreed to come listen to module 0 & to join in on the 24 sessions for 24 months. (We chose the 2nd Sunday of each month because it has the least chances of running into a holiday & we needed consistency.)
Here is our results so far:
Module 0 – the group grew & about 50 came out to hear this module …no church growth & no additional finances came in.
Module 1 – the group maintained integrity & 44 showed up …no church growth & no additional finances came in.
Module 2 – about 40 came out for 24tD training …a new family showed up & there was buzz about whether or not it was due to ’24toDouble’ & the finances are not looking good.
Module 3 – 36 came out & I think this is the committed group …another new family has since began attending & more speculation related to 24toDouble …worst month financially in years.
Module 4 – 36 seems to be the core we were hoping for …about 4 new families have began attending, new faces are everywhere, 2 “new tithe paying families” are attending, pastors are wearing black “INVITE” t-shirts on Sunday mornings with the emphasis on ‘Inviting” people to FCC.
- 1500 “Invite” cards were ordered to hand out to the community. We know that 24toDouble is kicking in & the volunteers are excited about church growth.
- I used the message series from 24toDouble called, “The Other 90” over a 4 week series & our finances are beginning to grow.
- Attendance is getting bigger every week in the last 6-7 weeks.
- WE had some folks who thought that 24toDouble was a magic bullet & all you had to do was pull the trigger & watch out.
- THAT ISN’T HOW IT WORKS!! – This takes work & requires patience.
Jerry says over & over again that when you apply the principles of the program that your church will grow & so will your finances …that might not happen …over night …but it will happen when you apply yourself, bathe this thing in prayer, encourage the volunteers & don’t try to outpace the system.
“24” is in the title of the name for a reason …it’s a “24 month” long process.
I’m not trying to carry Jerry’s water here so this isn’t a commercial but I will tell you that as we enter our 6th month since we’ve completed 0-4 modules, our church has seen growth & the energy in the house has changed in a positive way.
Volunteers are early on time, they know their gifts & passions and the word is getting out that the old church on Rumble Road is seeing fresh faces once again.
One of the volunteers, an older guy who is slightly disabled took a bunch of “Invite” cards & began passing them out. Almost every day he gets positive feedback & he’s got people who are showing up to check out FCC as a result of being “Invited” to attend worship & they are showing up & sticking around.
Near by & around the corner is a big box A/G that offers ‘Space Camp’ kids ministry, jungle gym for kids, Fitness Center for parents, rock concert worship complete with fog & lasers & multi-media presentations. Our little church offers close friendships, fellowship & simple illustrations of the plan of Christ. Both methods have their attraction but this is all we can offer at this time.
Our reason for looking for help:
- We were in a serious decline. Lost 5 of our top 7 giving families in less than 10 months & we lost more than that in our middle support of families who give generous in the $4-6 thousand a year range.
- Kids ministry was all but nearly gone even though youth ministry was doing fairly well.
- Sunday morning attendance dipped under 60 on a regular basis.
- Of the 50 families that call FCC their home church less than 50% of them helped to support in some way & only about 10-15 families actually keep the bills paid.
- Many other things began to function is more of a negative manner & all the pressure was mounting, but somehow I knew God wasn’t through with us yet.
- 24toDouble didn’t pop out of the computer & change everything, we still have plenty of difficult challenges, but God is helping us.
- Our men’s & women’s ministries are up & running strong. Youth is doing really good, kids ministry is seeing new kids every week, food ministry every Saturday morning is the strongest ministry tool we operate.
If you’re struggling & trying to figure out how to hold on to ministry & the reasons to quit are bigger than the reasons to stay then I challenge you to reach out & see if something like 24toDouble might work for your church or your ministry. PM me if you have personal questions or if you would like for me to explain help in some way or shoot me an email & we can discuss your situation.