Raising the Love Quotient in Your Church

This morning I awoke to two emails regarding two very different pastors. One positive and the other negative.

One rejoices that 12 people showed up for the first meeting of the church he is planting in an agnostic European nation. The other complains about the shrinking church he leads (what he doesn’t seem to notice is that the church was thriving before he assumed the helm).

Churches that Love Grow!

Both congregations are needy though one pastor is hopeful while the other damns his people. At the risk of oversimplifying, I’m reminded of a headline I once saw in the Los Angeles Times. It read, “Churches that Love Grow!” The article underscored what Jesus defined as the second commandment—to love our neighbors. Love is the elixer for both of these pastors and congregations.

Hardened agnostics and atheists need love, responding to it when apologetics fail. A shrinking church will die faster as the pastor beats the sheep. Love does conquer all.

Press the Love Quotient

If your church is slow getting off the ground or if you lead a stagnating congregation you must go beyond prayer and good Bible teaching. You must press the love quotient. We’re told to “…clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults…forgive anyone who offends you… clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:12-15 NLT).

Did you catch the line about love binding us together in perfect harmony? Love is the greatest evangelism and church growth tool ever implemented. And, it all begins with core leadership. When in doubt, pull the love card. Remember it was the power of God mixed with love and generosity that gave the Acts 2 Christ-followers favor with their neighbors, attracting them to the fellowship.

If you’re struggling as a leader sit yourself down and list 25 things you could do to help your church become more loving. Change the scorecard away from numbers (form) to love (fruit) and get ready for better days ahead.

So what does your experience teach about what I wrote above? We’d like to read your comments in the box below.



4 thoughts on “Raising the Love Quotient in Your Church”

  1. So true and a great reminder! The toughest issue that I find many pastors and leaders deal with – who are pursuing the goal of creating a loving church – is the “tough love” challenges. Paul calls it, “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). In our church (where I’m an elder) we recently had to discuss how to deal with some inappropriate (okay, “wierd”…) behavior by two different people that caused distractions in the service. Finding a gentle-but-firm path of communication and confrontation in such circumstances can be very stressful for a young leader. One must balance showing grace toward the individual with protecting the worship experience of the group. If the leader chooses to ignore such things under the pretense of “love” alone, the problems usually get bigger. On the other hand, if the leader over-reacts and is harsh, this too is counter-productive to the church’s health and to the leader’s own well-being. Gracious firmness is a godly skill we all must develop to keep healthy love in church!

  2. Thank you so much for this thoughtful focus on the power of love! I believe I have found an opening discussion for our Deep Love marriage group!

  3. Great reminder to do the core things that Jesus taught – love our neighbors – identify as his disciples by loving one another as he did. I highly endorse your excellent and practical suggestion to “change the scorecard away from numbers (form) to love (fruit).”

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