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The term healthy churches has become a buzzword in recent years. Discussions about healthy churches often gravitate toward debates over what constitutes “healthy church growth.” Eventually someone will stand on a soapbox and ask whether a church should grow from internal or external sources. In truth, healthy church growth results from a combination of both.

What Is Internal Church Growth?

Church growth experts define internal church growth variously. One scholar recently defined internal church growth as “an increase in sub-groups within existing churches, i.e., increase of competent Christians … who know the Bible and practice the Christian faith. They move from marginal to ardent belief.”Others use terms such as quality and quantity. Congregational developers are often called in to assist with church “revitalization.” When the term quality is used, the common understanding is that individual Christians are growing in spiritual maturity and actively participating in mission and ministry. Quality growth applied collectively would refer to the growth in Christian discipleship, mission, and ministry of a local congregation.

What Is External Growth?

External growth (commonly called expansion growth) occurs in two primary ways. The most common way is transfer growth. Transfer growth occurs when a church receives members from another Christian church who “transfer” their church membership. This type of growth may increase the rolls of a local church but it does not enlarge the kingdom or reign of God.The second type of external growth is conversion growth. Conversion occurs when a church receives “new Christians” — individuals who have made first-time professions of faith. Some include individuals who have been restored to the faith and were without a church home.The current 21st-century context in the United States presents a constant challenge to churches. statistically, “In the USA, only about 20 percent of the nation’s 360,000 churches are growing, and 19 of the 20 are growing mostly by biological growth … or transfer growth.”More than ever, churches in the United States must decide to grow internally and externally.Southwest has developed missions to lay the ground work for both internal and external growth. We invite you to take a moment to review our missions. During your review you may come up with questions. Please contact one of our Deacons or Elders to learn more or for help with any questions that may have arisen.


Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Benevolence Participating in God’s Work of Meeting People’s Needs Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and …

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Building Committee

God has truly blessed our church with a beautiful place to worship and grow as Christians.Purpose:Plan and implement the campus and building.Scope:The Building Ministry Team will be responsible for developing and maintining thelayout of the campus of Southwest utilizing the 20 acres of land located on Courthouse Road, developing architectural plans for a building or …

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“In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” Ephesians 2:21 This ministry is responsible for insuring that the entire building and grounds are kept presentable at all times.  Included in this ministry is the responsibility to coordinate with the deacon in charge of fellowships to …

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Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Benevolence Participating in God’s Work of Meeting People’s Needs God places a high priority on the training ministry of the church, and so must we.In the New Testament you will find a number of distinct Greek words which could indicate different strategies, or programs, for the nurture of …

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Family Outreach

Church’s Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Outreach Helping Others Get to Know God and Put Him First Since man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, God has been providing for the salvation of lost people (Gen. 3:21), culminating in the substitutionary death of His Son, Jesus Christ (Jn. 3:16). Even in the great …

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Church’s Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Fellowship Getting to Know Fellow Believers Relationship with others is of extreme importance, standing next to our relationship with God Himself. (See Matt. 22:37-39.)Relationship with fellow believers takes priority and goes deeper than what we are to have with those who do not know the Lord. (See …

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Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.2 Timothy 1:14 Prepares the annual budget for the next fiscal year Exercises oversight of the congregation’s financial affairs to make sure that they are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and …

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The Greeting Ministry seeks to welcome people warmly to our church. We also want to make sure that visitors have everything that they need to make Sunday morning a pleasant, user-friendly experience, from finding your wayaround the campus to getting children to Kids’ Church to providing information about how to get connected.Our church is a …

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We are frequently asked “What is the Involvement Ministry?”  Our usual response is to begin by letting people know what Involvement Ministry is not.  It is not about trying to find people a “job” in the church.  People are busy enough without me coming along and adding something else to their already full plate.  Neither …

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Life (small) Groups

What is a Life/Small Group?This ministry provides a setting where, through discussion and participation, a person can love and be loved, know and be known, serve and be served, celebrate and be celebrated (Matthew 12:33, John 13:34, Galatians 5:13, Matthew 7:12).Another possible way to look at small groups is as a support group. Look at …

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The Missions Minsitry focuses primarily on evangelism and service opportunities outside the continental United States. However, we embrace some efforts of a crosscultural nature within the United States. We seek to complement the focus of the Church Outreach on opportunities in and around Richmond, Virginia.This ministry stays in communication with our missionaries and their needs, …

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We live in a world where multimedia is increasing in significance and influence.  Movies and visual arts are playing powerful roles in our communication. People are used to receiving information in a graphic, highly visual way. People also tend to see God the way He is presented.The Multimedia ministry is dedicated to communicate God’s goodness …

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Personal Evangelism

The Gospel is for sharing, and the New Testament is insistent that every Christian is a witness. Personal Evangelism is the most effective way of spreading the good news simply because it is personal evangelism.This is done through organized weekly outreaches to reach out to the Lost. Our goal is to answer people’s questions about Christianity, lead …

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This ministry is designed to coordinate efforts to welcome newcomers to our worship services and also to visit our shut-ins, sick, bereaved, and out-of-duty members. After all, people matter to both us and God.The deacon in this ministry will work closely with the deacons assigned to the “Personal Evangelism” and “Greeting” ministries to ensure that …

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Purpose to Love People Is Expressed Through Benevolence Participating in God’s Work of Meeting People’s Needs Worship is the logical response of the created toward the Creator. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, …

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This ministry helps those desiring to work with our youth minister and our young people and their families.  The deacon in this ministry is to work closely with Southwest’s Youth Minister in planning and coordinating youth devotionals and events to include the calendar of events.  The deacon in this ministry provides reminders to those volunteering …

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