Will the church you're building be around in 100 years?
Have you ever asked yourself that question?
It's a really fascinating question to ask yourself.
As Christians, we know that the church is going to be around forever. It's never going away. It's been around more than 2,000 and I believe it's thriving and growing around the world.
How's the church that you're building?
How do you make sure that you leave a legacy?
You're putting so much work, so much energy, blood, sweat, and tears into building this thing—will it last?
We know the church is eternal on a big level, but how does the church that you're building stay relevant and stay around in three generations' time? Because that's the kind of church I wanted to build. I wanted to make sure that that church was around for a long, long time. Here are my thoughts.
1. Achieve financial stability
Some churches and pastors aren’t into buildings. They don't want to buy land. They don't want to build buildings. The number one thing to bring stability to your church is get assets—specifically assets that appreciate. The best thing you can do is move on from rented facilities. We all did it. We all start with renting, but you can’t stay there. Having a church that lasts 100 years means getting some land and putting a building on it. That's number one.
2. Build a healthy leadership culture
The next thing you want to do is have a very healthy leadership culture. Your culture as a leadership team will set the tone for your church members. More than that, it will significantly determine what kind of members you’ll attract. The kind of culture you practice is the kind of culture you will produce.
3. Invest heavily in the next generation
What's most critical, and so many churches miss this, is the next generation—having the ability to raise up younger people and make sure that you're bringing younger leaders through the ranks and delegating responsibilities to younger people. As you get older, you look down at the young and you say, "You know what? They've got so much to learn and what do they know? I've been around for 30 years.” But you know what? These young people can teach us amazing things.
They're tech savvy.
They're all the things that we need as older leaders.
We want that.
We want that culture in our church where the young are celebrated. I would always make sure that even as a senior pastor who's over 50 is hanging out with, mentoring, and coaching the next generation. In order to achieve this, you must have a thriving, healthy youth ministry. Where are the young leaders going to come from if you don't reach them for Christ? Being active in your local schools, being active in the community, and having a great youth program is really critical for the longevity of your church.
It's those young people that come to Christ when they're 15, that get married in their 20s, that have kids in their 30s, that buy a house along the way, that have children and grandchildren. That's the way that you want your church to continue its legacy. It's all about creating that healthy environment, making sure you've got financial stability, and then cultivating the next generation always coming through. If you do this, your church will be around forever.
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Tithe.ly is the global leader in digital giving, church engagement, and church management software. Tithe.ly serves over 12,000 churches in 55 countries, and is trusted by churches and ministries such as Hillsong, North Coast Church, Rock Church, and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
Dean Sweetman is the co-founder and CEO of Tithe.ly. Before launching Tithe.ly, Dean was involved in ministry for more than 30 years. During this time, he planted over 50 churches and raised millions of dollars to spread the gospel, equip leaders, and see lives transformed by Jesus. When Dean is not encouraging his team and helping churches grow, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family.