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It Takes People to Make People

June 21, 2005 by

In business, most are familiar with the adage that it takes money to make money. If I’m going to build a million widgets and sell them for a profit, then I need x number of dollars to build the widgets before I can expect a profit. Without the appropriate—often substantial—upfront investment, turning a profit becomes more difficult. For example, if I know the widgets will sell for $5.00 each, my profit will be directly impacted by the amount it takes to produce them. I know I can keep the costs low if I produce more, but I can’t produce more unless I have the significant upfront investment in the first place.

I spend a lot of time with church leaders who are starting new things and are frustrated with the turnout. Whether it be a church plant or re-start, new youth ministry or college group, it takes people to make people.

I am convinced that the potential for critical mass is directly related to the initial turnout. If you have 30 people at your opening service, don’t expect 300 anytime soon. Because crowds beget crowds, put the laws of exponential growth to work for you. This most likely means you have to work that much harder before your first gathering, but it most certainly means your work is working for you in subsequent services.


I was recently invited to a conversation with church leaders about a new model for urban church planting. Among many of the ideas and concepts discussed, one takeaway included a three tiered approach to establishing the core congregation. It included a leader, a support team (20-30 people), and a congregation (90-120 people) all before the first service even takes place! Yep, it may take a year or more to establish a group of this many people, but without it, you’re going to limit your potential right out the door.

As with business, the initial investment is often the most difficult. It takes patience, persistence, and in the case of church, people! Are you up for it?

Disclaimer: I am certainly not dismissing the role God plays in drawing people unto him, nor do I discount the potential for miracles. God has a way of trumping all of our best plans. He also has a way of taking our best efforts and blessing them even more.

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it. He and his wife Jamaica live in Los Angeles with their daughter, Miró.
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4 Responses to “It Takes People to Make People”

  • It Takes People to Make People

    A wonderful short article by Brad Abare over at Church Marketing Sucks talks about the effort and investment in people to help with future growth. I thought about how true this is with any ministry, including the technical ministries. We’re often found…


  • Phil Gerbyshak
    June 24, 2005

    Great post! The more people you have, the more people are interested, and the more people come just to see what’s inside. This website is full of great tips on how to make it to that critical mass needed to attract more seekers who will become Christ followers and bring more of their seeking friends to spread more of the good news. Thanks for sharing!


  • Culture
    July 5, 2005

    It Takes People to Make People

    Church Marketing Sucks has an interesting article about the idea of “it takes people to make people.” The premise being that to grow, you need people to help create a critical mass for others to want to join. The process described made me think of a pr…


  • Knowledge Lab
    July 8, 2005

    Focus on Initial Turnout

    CFCC President Brad Abare writes: “I am convinced that the potential for critical mass is directly related to the initial turnout. If you have 30 people at your opening service, don’t expect 300 anytime soon. Because crowds beget crowds, put the laws o…



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