In a recent issue of his Ministry Toolbox newsletter, Rick Warren writes: “One of the most important — and often forgotten — ingredients to a growing church is having the right leader in the right place. It doesn’t matter how good and godly of a pastor you are, if you don’t fit your congregation, it’ll be tough for your church to grow.
“Once, we brought a guy from Atlanta to Southern California to start a church. He was a great guy and a great church planter. He’d already started one church and grown it to 200. I thought he could do it again in California. But after about a year the church was going nowhere. They had three to four people in the church. It just wasn’t working.
“But I knew it wasn’t the church planter. So I asked him what he thought the problem was. He was honest and said, ‘I don’t fit the community.’ He’d started the church in a community with mostly wealthy middle-aged people who had teenagers. Yet he fit more with young couples and singles just starting out.
“That wasn’t Irvine at all. It was Huntington Beach. So we moved him three cities over, and in a year and a half his new church had more than 200.
“Right pastor, wrong place.
“If you’re going to have maximum growth in your church, the pastor, the congregation and the community have to be a match. When all three of those line up, you’ve got potential for real growth. If any of those don’t match up, growth is still possible. It’ll just be slower and more difficult. You need to understand that.” (Click here to read the full article.)