Community Impact AND Church Growth = Success
- “What difference does it make if your church grows but the community stays the same?”
- “If community transformation became the measure of our success, how would our churches and our communities look different?”
- “If the church were absent from the community would anyone miss it except for its own members?”
- “If you asked someone in your community who doesn’t go to your church what your church is known for, what would they say?”
- “How sad we’ve settled for a growing campus instead of striving for a transformed community.”
Challenging questions/quotes from Bob Roberts books Transformation & Multiplying Church that have pushed me to measure more than just the nickels & noses on Sunday’s at church. It’s easier to count nickels & noses & its more instantly gratifying. Now, after four years of insisting on community impact along with a growing crowd on Sunday, we’ve found the community tallying up our success for us.
This week officials from our local sheriff’s dept called to confirm some of the numbers from our ministry called Project 180. It’s a 26-week Discipleship/Recovery Course that seeks to prepare men in local work releases for re-entry into society after incarceration. We currently have over 125 men in the course in two facilities. We’ve had over 500 men participate since 2010 & 210 have completed the course & been rewarded with time off their sentence by the Dept of Corrections. The sheriff’s dept informed us that these numbers mean that our program has saved tax payers around $238,000 since 2010. They’re also tracking a decrease in recidivism (inmates returning to jail after release, which costs on average $24,000 per year) & credit programs like ours for helping with that. Great to see the community measuring the impact of the body of Christ!
And for us, we’re still tracking the church growth stuff as well. 30+ men have been baptized, over 100 have been saved, over 100 have participated in a Sunday morning Bible Study at the jail each week, and over 100 volunteers have served at the facility.
How is the community measuring the impact of your church? What is a big need in your community that your church could begin to address? Where is the church not, & how can you go there to bring community transformation?