Shawn Lovejoy & Dino Rizzo on Breaking Growth Barriers Through Serving & Big Days


"If we want to grow, we need to make service a natural part of what we do."

In a webinar hosted by CourageToLead and ARC, CourageToLead Founder and CEO Shawn Lovejoy chats with Dino Rizzo about how church planters can tackle growth barriers through service and special events. "BIG days", as Shawn refers to them. 

“We have an agenda”, Shawn explained as he kicked off the webinar. “We want you to serve your community in a heightened way and connect that with your potential to unlock growth when it comes to accomplishing the great commission in your community and your city.”

On Wednesday, CourageToLead Founder and CEO Shawn Lovejoy and Dino Rizzo, Co-founder and Executive Director of ARC and Outreach and Missions Pastor at Church of the Highlands hosted a webinar, where they had the opportunity to share transforming growth principles with pastors around the world. Both Dino and Shawn are passionate about planting healthy churches and seeing them grow and understand the challenges church planters face because they’ve planted churches themselves.

Strategic serve initiatives is one way to do that, and is something that Dino’s heart beats for. At ARC, he leads the national Serve Day initiative, the goal of which is to inspire churches across the country to serve their communities and to champion a culture of serving others.

Along with serving, another way church planters can grow their ministry is through what Shawn calls BIG days. During the webinar, Shawn shared five ways to make an impact and spark new conversion growth through Big days!

1. If we want to grow, we need to make a big splash.

Churches grow through Big days. They don't grow incrementally. This might be a Serve Day or leveraging a big holiday like Easter, Mother's Day, or Christmas, for instance. Also, think beyond holidays. It might be a Church at the Movies series, for example, that will last several weeks. Get creative! Be specific about a day, and rally your team around it! Get every small group leader talking about this in their small group. Get groups involved! When someone in the church says they are not being fed, what it means is that they're bored. Make a splash and spark interest and excitement through Big days! 

2. If we want to grow, we need to build some anticipation in the body.

We need to show up with passion and anticipation. Talk often about what you're trying to accomplish as a church, and do it with passion! Tell stories. Share testimonies. We should take our church on a journey that moves them with the things that move Jesus’ heart! Jesus had passion and was magnetic. We've got to take responsibility. It's not that our people won't; we haven't led them to.

3. If we want to grow, we need to prepare for growth.

The truth is our church is perfectly structured for the results we're getting now. If we're not prepared for growth, God isn't going to send us more people than we can handle. If God wanted to grow your church by 40% this Sunday, would you be prepared for it? 

Do you have enough seats?

Do you have enough services?  

Do you have enough parking?

Do you have enough greeters?

Do you have enough group leaders trained to assimilate them into the body?

Is my preaching prepared?

Is the worship environment prepared?

ON and on and on!

There’s a difference between presuming on God and preparing for whatever God wants to do! We can’t presume but we can be prepared!

4. If we want to grow, we need to think long-term.

ONE BIG DAY is not going to fix everything in our church. One Serve Day or Mission Trip is not going to reach our city, change the world, or magically disciple everyone! Take a longer-term approach. We’re really talking about setting a culture where our church engages the community on a normal basis. They anticipate community impact and life impact over time. They see consistency. A lack of consistency can make us lose credibility. We need to have and longer-term strategy and then an annual strategy for how we’re going to serve and seek to transform our communities! One idea is having a weekly or monthly Saturday outreach. If we want to grow, we need to make service a natural part of what we do. Build a strategy for that. A vision without a plan is a pipe dream.

5. If we want to grow, we need to model the way.

If we want our people to be salt and light, the question is are we living as salt and light? Do we enhance the lives of our staff; or use them to get ministry done? Are you enjoying ministry? Are you a patient leader? Do you have self-control? Do you exhibit the fruits of the spirit? Are we preaching out of the overflow? Are we consistently returning to our first love?


Find out how your church can register for #ServeDay18 next summer HERE!

Check out these highlights from Dino on how to transform your city from the webinar.

Interested in one-on-one coaching? At CourageToLead, we are dedicated to coaching leaders through what keeps them up at night. Drop us a line! We'd love to chat with you about what that could look like for you.