The Pastor’s Voice

Even though the article is dated, I was impressed once again by a study conducted by Easum-Bandy Associates. In 2007, Bill Easum reported that the one key factor in growing healthy churches was: a pastor who has one-on-one conversations with non-Christians that leads to their conversion to Christ. The article, entitled How to Grow a Small Church [] drew on an extensive study funded by the Lilly Foundation. It confirmed a very simple and obvious principle: The more focused the pastor is on evangelism the larger the church becomes.

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. Most people assume that a Pastor possesses unique qualities of training, education, knowledge, and giftedness that automatically translate into successful evangelism. To be honest, I have to think that there is much more to the issue. Two things come to mind. First, a pastor who is fluent in evangelism has learned how to speak about Spiritual things with as normal and pleasant a voice as any other topic of interest. The one-on-one conversations are not sermons delivered with power, but delightful “chats” with meaning.

The second factor is related to the first. The pastor’s “voice” has the ability to become contagious. It’s been my experience that over time a congregation reflects the language that they hear from a pastor, whether it’s in how they pray or in how they explain the Gospel. It may be anecdotal, but I have to think that the voice of a pastor is multiplied through the congregation into the community.
That’s a good principle to keep in mind. As Bill concluded his report, he made it a reminder: the higher the priority you place on evangelism and make personal time for it, the larger your small church will grow. [For more helpful thoughts, you might want to check out:]