Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why 500 People Attend PCC

Our church is now twelve years old, and we have seen God do some incredible things over the years. One of those things is the number of people who attend and call PCC their church home. I know, five hundred people doesn’t sound like much, but it really is when you look at the big picture.

There are 400,000 churches in America:
  • 50% of all churches (200,000) have less than 75 people in attendance
  • 25% of all churches (100,000) have less than 35 people in attendance
  • 95% of all churches (380,000) have less than 300 people in attendance

That means when we hit the 75 attendance mark we were as large as ½ of the churches in America, and when we crossed the 300 attendance threshold we were in the upper five percent of all churches in American in regards to attendance size. Does that offer a sense of perspective?

Here are some reasons why I believe so many people are connected to PCC:

1. God is blessing our church. I don’t’ mean this in a lip-service kind of way. I really mean it. It’s obvious to see the hand of God’s favor upon us in many ways. The ministry of PCC has turned into a fruitful vineyard. When you do God’s work God’s way, you will never lack for God’s support. I am thankful to be a part of what He is doing at PCC.

2. We came to the right place at the right time. Before starting this church in Pace Florida, there were a lot of other communities that were on the list, (Pensacola, Milton, Jacksonville, Lady Lakes, Ocala, Ft. Myers). In fact, we came very, very close to planting a church in Jacksonville. But in the end God wanted us here. Turns out we were able to find the perfect niche here because Pace (and the surrounding area) did not have a church like PCC. A lot of people have gravitated to us because we were able to “position” ourselves as being different than all the other churches in the area. Since starting PCC, several other church plants has been started trying to emulate us.

3. We are intentional about growth & reaching people for Christ. We have an unmovable, unshakable conviction about church growth and making disciples. We plan for it, pray for it, and expect it. I think a lot of churches don’t grow because they really don’t expect it, and consequently, they never plan for it. I’m always asking “what’s next?”

4. We aren’t afraid to lose people. This is important. I have experienced key leaders, big donors, and mutinous groups walk away from PCC leaving us in a temporary jam. But I have never been tempted to change the vision, mission, strategy or structure just to accommodate demanding people. You may not realize this, but PCC has grown as much through subtraction as we have through addition. i.e., Every time someone has left PCC, God has replaced them tenfold! It’s tempting to think, “They can’t leave! They are vital to our church.” But before long God replaces them with new people who smile, who have good attitudes, and are generous in their giving. Yes, sometimes it is hurtful and painful when certain people leave our church, but God uses those times to grow our church.

5. We are not afraid of change or of making decisions.
All living organisms need to change and adapt in order to grow. If churches are to grow, they’ve got to be willing to embrace change. This involves making decisions - sometimes tough ones. We never allow ourselves to become stagnant. If there is a logjam backing up the river, we tear the dam down so the water can flow freely again. If someone’s pet project is holding the whole church back, it is decision time. If current building usage practices are preventing us from launching a new initiative, it is decision time. If a current procedure is a drain on the resources, it is decision time. You get the idea.

I think these factors have helped position PCC for such a time as this. When I think of the future and the possibilities before us, I am excited at the prospect of what God is going to do. The best is yet to come.


Cathy said...

We, as a family and as individuals, have grown more spiritually since we started attending PCC seven years ago than any other time in our lives. Our children have grown in Christ through the ministries and relationships of PCC. God is doing some amazing works in people's lives and through this church. We are blessed to be a part of this church family.

Ron said...

Renae and I feel the same way.