Our Ministry Team - Allen Ratta
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (culturally speaking), I was a young pastor trying to solve the problems that every pastor faces. How do I attract visitors? How do I connect them to the church? How do I integrate newcomers into the life of the congregation? These issues pale in comparison to the most daunting question, which has been a lifelong pursuit of mine: How can I help people to experience genuine spiritual growth?
God designed me as a "process oriented" soul and it was not long before He helped me to develop some intentional processes. They proved to be effective and increased our ability to connect and integrate newcomers. We grew numerically.
The connection and integration processes, which led to our church's growth, gained the attention of my peers. I was asked to formalize them in a training manual and share them with the leaders of the 400+ churches in our district. Soon thereafter, I was asked to train these same processes and principles to church leaders across the United States by leaders of my denomination.
The lessons learned and best practices from these years became the foundation for the next step in my ministry life. I founded ConnectionPower.com, which became an industry leader in Church Management software. These were exciting days as I extolled the message of "process health and process management" far and wide in countless seminars, conferences and speaking engagements. I was "all in" when it came to the mission to grow the church wider.
However, the church's mission of spiritual growth was far more elusive. Most pastors I met got a discouraged look in their eyes when I ask them about spiritual growth. "Allen, it's the five ton elephant in the room. We have nothing in place, really, to measure and reliably achieve excellence in helping people to make spiritual progress." I came to the conclusion that it's easier to grow the church wider than deeper."
In my early years as a pastor, God had given me a simple but profound paradigm of how He grows people. These truths had percolated in my spirit for decades. My travels and ministry had given me a privileged view of a large cross section of the modern church. One day it became clear to me that the church had a great and unmet need for ministries that were dedicated to helping it to grow deeper. From that day I began to reset my course. I sold ConnectionPower.com and started another chapter in my life.
I took a year off to research and write Making Spiritual Progress, a book on how God grows people. InterVarsity Press published it in January of 2014. Leading pastors have called it a "groundbreaking" and "biblically compelling" framework for spiritual growth. Larry Osborne, lead pastor of (10,000 in weekly attendance) North Coast church and founder of the North Coast Training Network, wrote the foreword and states, "The SpiritualProgress model fits so well with the biblical paradigm that it's almost "a priori" obvious once you step back and look at it. It makes you wonder, ‘Why hadn't I seen that before?'"
The next step was to found spiritualrogress.com to build and house powerful web-based tools that support the framework for Making Spiritual Progress. The impact of our many "firsts" in ministry tools for individuals and churches has been remarkable.
Churchgrowth.net represents the final step in a thirty-year journey to minister to and serve the needs of the local church. It is here where the two great passions of my life collide. We stand to serve you and your church's needs, as you desire to grow your church deeper and wider.
Respectfully in Christ