60+ Innovative Church Growth Strategies

Who doesn’t want to be part of an exciting, growing, and large church?

The greater the desire for a bigger and better church, the more important church growth strategies are.

The motivation from this post came as I read through 2 Corinthians, looking for how Paul pastored this church. His methodology is so different from my own. It is sharply distinctive from what I often see promoted as the best way forward for the church. By pulling these ‘strategies’ together into one list I hope to remind us about the nature of Paul’s approach to ministry. My hope is that this knowledge changes how we act and relate to one another in churches today.

With that in mind, here are 60+ “innovative church growth strategies” from the life of the Apostle Paul:

  1. Experience depression to the point that you despair of living.
  2. Maintain a simple lifestyle.
  3. Practice godly sincerity.
  4. Proclaim Jesus as Lord.
  5. Live for the joy of others.
  6. Overflow with joy.
  7. Cry many tears out of abundant love for others.
  8. Have an anguished, heartfelt burden for others.
  9. Know Satan’s plans.
  10. Disown the credit for any accomplishments.
  11. Live with hope.
  12. Renounce underhanded, cunning ways.
  13. Refuse to tamper with God’s word.
  14. Make open statements about the truth.
  15. Be perplexed.
  16. Get knocked down.
  17. Carry around ‘the death of Jesus’ so others can live.
  18. Groan as your body wastes away.
  19. Always be of good courage.
  20. Aim to please God; fear God.
  21. Think through the implications of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  22. Beg and implore people to be reconciled to God.
  23. Work in partnership with God.
  24. Demonstrate great endurance.
  25. Endure multiple afflictions, hardships, and calamities.
  26. Receive beatings.
  27. Get put in jail.
  28. Outdo others in your labor, imprisonments, getting beaten, and being near death.
  29. Stir up riots.
  30. Don’t sleep at night.
  31. Be hungry.
  32. Live a pure life.
  33. Share knowledge.
  34. Be exceedingly patient.
  35. Show kindness.
  36. Depend upon the Holy Spirit.
  37. Express a genuine love for others.
  38. Use truthful speech.
  39. Reveal the power of God.
  40. Use weapons of righteousness for both hands.
  41. Be honored.
  42. Be dishonored.
  43. Be praised.
  44. Be slandered.
  45. Be treated as an imposter.
  46. Be unknown.
  47. Die to oneself.
  48. Actually die for the gospel.
  49. Suffer punishment.
  50. Feel sorrowful.
  51. Live in poverty.
  52. Actually have nothing.
  53. Bring holiness to completion.
  54. Know God’s comfort.
  55. Give well beyond your ability to do so, in a cheerful manner.
  56. Handle finances in an honorable manner, before God and before others.
  57. Destroy arguments and opinions contrary to the knowledge of God.
  58. Take every thought captive to Christ.
  59. Speak honestly about false and deceitful supposedly ‘Christian’ leaders.
  60. Be shipwrecked.
  61. On missions trips, be so dedicated to reaching new groups of people that you sleep outside in cold weather with inadequate shelter.
  62. Boast in your weaknesses.
  63. Have profound spiritual visions.
  64. Grow spiritually from the torments of Satan.
  65. Pray earnestly.
  66. Treasure the grace of Christ.
  67. Seek the restoration of other believers.

As Rodney Stark explains in his book The Rise of Christianity, the early church grew from the initial twelve believers to somewhere around six million believers in 300 A.D. That’s a growth rate of ~40% per decade. The example set by the Apostle Paul and other leaders of the early church laid the foundation for this explosive growth through the centuries.

May God give us grace to imitate their example in our churches today.