A church that understands its context, actively engages with it and with those who might not currently go to church
The research showed that churches that have a good understanding of the area that they are serving, and who tailor their outreach to the needs and opportunities of their local area are more likely to be growing. It is important to be outward looking as a church and to actively engage with your local context.
In some contexts, finding new ways to engage with people, for example through using social media, was found to be linked to growth.
Key facts from the research:
'The road to growth depends on the context and what works in one place may not work in another.'
- Churches that were running some particular types of community outreach activities, (such as debt counselling or night shelters for the homeless) were also more likely to be growing in numbers.
- A third of churches surveyed said that they used Facebook or other social media on a regular basis. Of those that do, two thirds report growth versus half among those who don't.
So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the Gospel and healing people everywhere. Luke 9:6