Pastor Clint Trentham of Calvary Assembly of God in Fort Smith, Arkansas shares his experience with church growth over the past 20 years. Trentham has held many positions within the church including senior pastor, youth pastor, secretary, and maintenance supervisor. Working at almost every level of the ministry, Trentham explains the necessary steps to grow the church numerically and spiritually.
Christian Journalist Kendee Hughes interviews Senior Pastor Clint Trentham at Calvary Assembly of God in Fort Smith, Arkansas about church growth.
Nine and a half years ago Trentham and his family, along with a small team of volunteers felt led to leave Butterfield Assembly of God in Van Buren, Arkansas to minister to a dying church, Calvary Assembly of God. The once flourishing church of 400-500 people dwindled down to only 10-15 members in 2006. With only $25,000 in the bank, Trentham faced an insufferable situation, but believed God would bring restoration and healing to this congregation.
As Trentham and his team began their journey, he believed that God was leading him to initiate a restoration process with a new ministry called Disciples Victorious over Dirt (DVD). This ministry was born out of a need to restore, renew, and redeem the church building and property. “The wallpaper on the walls had not been changed since 1968,” claimed Trentham. As his team began to make small repairs to the church, such as changing out light bulbs, painting and cleaning, hope resurfaced on the faces and in the hearts of church members. Small changes in the physical aspects of the building brought new life into the spirits of the congregation.
In the process of bringing vitality through building improvements, the team moved the church into the next phase of growth. According to Trentham, the most important aspect of church growth begins with building children. He insists, “If you don’t build children, you have no future. You have to build, train, and disciple children.” In addition to building children, Trentham explained that the church must be equipped to disciple families. He said, “Healthy church growth includes growing children, youth, young adults, and the senior adults.”
In preparation for the numbers to increase, Trentham developed a ministry team that constructed lesson plans for each age group. In the beginning stages, the church did not have a proportionate number of small children to adults, but they continued to study and prepare each week in anticipation for the day more children walked through the church doors. Their patience and faith have been rewarded, as the church now runs between 85-100 people regularly each week.
Trentham described church growth as both numerical and spiritual. One cannot survive without the other. As the numbers grow, the financial gifts and offerings typically increase as well.