Home > Blog > What’s a Healthy 20-Mile March Percentage Growth Goal?

November 10, 2018

What’s a Healthy 20-Mile March Percentage Growth Goal?

By Todd Adkins

If you want to grow your church you’ve got to grow your people.

Every week, we have Office Hours for Plus Members where they are able to submit their questions and get them answered by Ed Stetzer, myself, and others in our author community.

Click here to submit your question and see a library of all questions and answers.

Here’s one of the questions that Todd Adkins recently answered:

What’s a healthy 20-mile march percentage growth goal for Sunday attendance, small groups, volunteers serving? Do the principles from the breaking 200 barrier apply to this stage of a multisite campus to help us break the 1000 barrier outside of holiday services?

First of all I’m going to come back around to one simple fact. If you want to grow your church you’ve got to grow your people.

Sometimes when we experience growth like this, we are tempted to add more ministries, strategic initiatives, or go completely tactical in our approach. So, I am really excited that you brought up the 20-mile march.

The idea of the 20-mile march is about fanatic daily discipline to achieve a daily goal that leads to your overall goal. Fanatic discipline to the ministry basics that grow your people day in and day out is that 20-mile march for the church. But, instead of measuring this march every day, I would suggest that you set 90-day goals for growing your Sunday Attendance, Small Groups, and Volunteers Serving by 15%. This is a more effective measure than saying we will grow 0.167% a day or even 5% a month as it would be more affected by seasonal ebbs and flows in attendance.

Breaking the 200 barrier and the 1000 barrier both come down to the same issues; they just manifest themselves differently. People, communication, finances, ministry quality, facility, mission drift, etc.

Much like a person in a leadership pipeline, as your organization hits different barriers you either gain new levels of competency or you don’t move up. The bumping of the lid at the barriers is that tension, when you start to grow beyond your competency it will correct itself.



Todd Adkins

Todd Adkins (@ToddAdkins) is the Director of Leadership at LifeWay. Prior to LifeWay, Todd served as an executive pastor at McLean Bible Church. He has a background in launching strategic initiatives and scalable campus models to provide immediate growth while remaining financially solvent. During his time at LifeWay, Todd has introduced customizable, web-based leadership development through MinistryGrid.com. He is passionate about helping churches build a Leadership Pipeline and develop Training Pathways for every role in the church.


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