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Preaching Great Sermons On Sunday Is Never Enough

Monday, December 6, 2021 • Matt Loehr • Church Leadership
When a senior pastor has a great vision, great things usually happen.
Preaching Great Sermons On Sunday Is Never Enough

It doesn’t matter if you are a leader in your church or simply attending one, all of us want our churches to grow. Often, people ask me “What is the greatest secret to church growth?” I will get to that in a moment. After meeting thousands of pastors and having great respect and admiration for what they do, I have found that many think preaching a great sermon on Sunday is enough to grow their church. I wish it was enough. But it’s not.

Recently I was consulting with a small church that has a wonderful pastor. His congregation raves about his sermons yet his church is declining rapidly. He is a humble and kind man who simply wants to serve the Lord with his preaching gifts. We started to dive into the other areas of his role, leadership, vision casting, and empowering others to rise up. That is where we found the root cause of his declining church. To his credit, he opened his mind and heart towards focusing on leadership and vision casting. The rest of his story has yet to play itself out but I am excited to watch it develop in the upcoming months. 

I have seen great preachers with dwindling churches. I have seen below-average preachers with booming churches. What makes the difference? My answer is simple: “Vision”. When a senior pastor has a great vision, great things usually happen. A vision to grow, a vision to reach the lost, a vision to disciple, a vision to invest in his team, a vision to remain humble. That is the secret to biblical success.

If a pastor is a great preacher with a great vision, that’s wonderful however, If a pastor is a great preacher with a great vision and he is spiritually healthy, humble, and kind… that is the trifecta of all conditions.

You may ask the question “Can a church be booming with a poor leader, but a great preacher?” My answer is yes but with great pain and suffering. The same can be said if he is not kind and humble. Large churches don’t always represent a leader who is humble, kind, and rightly delivering God’s word. Don’t be fooled by the size of the church.

If someone had fifty million dollars to play around with and decided to build a huge church in the most prime part of your town and provided the greatest light show with the greatest worship team and hired someone to preach with charisma who didn’t even believe in the bible, my guess is, they would get away with it for a while. Maybe they would get away with it for a long time?

I will never forget an associate pastor who pulled me aside one day to share a deep concern. His church quickly grew past 3000 people. They were clicking on all cylinders. He looked at me and said, “My greatest fear is that we would pull this off without God and rely only on our talent”. I will never forget those words.

My point isn’t to cast shade on all large churches (I attend one). It’s to encourage lead pastors to look way beyond the sermon on Sunday and dig deep into other factors that are also important, maybe even more so. Look at your own personal walk with the Lord. Your church will only be as healthy as you are, internally. Are you humble? Are you a servant to your team? Do they feel valued by you? If not, something is broken.

Look at investing into your team. Invest in their development, their skills, their need for your time and affection, their views and ideas. This also includes lay leaders that come around you.

Look at building an aggressive vision with clarity and focus. How can you reach more people with the Gospel? How can you produce more salvations and increase more baptisms? Is your church serving the community and its needs?

All these topics factor into the growth and wellness of a church.


If you or your church needs help in any of these areas, reach out to me. We come alongside churches to get unstuck. Click Here for more information.

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