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So often in conversations with church leaders, the topic of growth barriers comes up. Everyone feels like they’re stuck just below the 100/500/1,000/5,000/___0 barrier.

Truthfully, there is nothing special about numbers that end in a zero.

Yet these “barriers” get treated like some mysterious force that cannot be understood. In those moments, it’s easy to move from feeling stuck to feeling desperate. I’ve watched leaders grapple for anything new to get them over the hump. That’s not strategic leadership. It’s panic and fear.

I’m convinced that every growth barrier can be addressed by developing two areas. They look different at each level and require a new level of intentionality. But behind every barrier lies a need to develop both leaders and systems.

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