Coping with Crazy-Good Growth When It Overwhelms

Growth can hurt as well as help.

Every pastor deals with the ups and downs of ministry growth and the anxiety that can come with it. Ralph Moore talks with Russ Shearer on the Thought Leaders podcast about his experience of rapid growth and transition as a pastor.

As a church planter, Russ and his team started out renting space for their church for years. After going through the ups and downs of the pandemic, their church started back with outdoor services at 50% of what they had been before. Just like many other churches out there, this took a huge toll on them. Despite all of this, they kept focusing on their mission, serving the community, and loving the people of their church and those around them as well. Nine months into the pandemic, Russ got a call from a fellow pastor asking to meet and talk. Little did he know that this pastor would offer Russ and his team a building for their church. This happened in God’s perfect timing because before they knew it, their congregation doubled from what it was at the beginning of the pandemic! With this influx of people, Russ quickly realized that they had to figure out how to physically and spiritually take care of the people coming to them with minimal staffing. This sudden growth became a catalyst for officially launching the church and its leaders and created a “perfect storm” of momentum to move things forward and point people to Jesus.

Russ shares some things to remember:

  • People are hungry for hope right now. Use this time of isolation and fear to point people to Jesus. People are longing for community and connection like they never have before.
  • Online churches are not working as well for younger people. The micro-church model elevates the idea that church still happens when believers get together and allows pastors to share in the care of their congregation with other leaders.
  • Teach on tithing and giving consistently so that your church’s financial growth is balanced with your physical growth.
  • Effective systems are important, but still encourage your leaders to continue to pour into others.


We hope this story will be an encouragement and help you better handle what to do when sudden, exciting, and unexpected growth happens. Want to hear more? Check out the Thought Leaders podcast @


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