Americans are attending church less, and more people—particularly Millennials—are experiencing and practicing their faith outside of its four walls. Based on a large pool of data collected over the course of this year, Barna conducted an analysis on the state of the church, looking closely at affiliation, attendance and practice to determine the overall health of Christ’s Body in America.
It makes a tremendous difference in the ability of congregations to transform if they have not painted themselves into a corner regarding long-term financial obligations. Typically congregations obligate themselves to long-term facilities costs. It is not the initial cost of the facilities. It is the long-term costs of utilities
Congregations seeking to transform anticipate the next generation of leaders in their congregation. They are not just looking a few weeks, months, or a year ahead. They are anticipating the leaders they need and who those people might be 3, 7, to 10 years into the future. This mean
Implications for the Congregation Life Cycle [See all articles in this series HERE.] Does your congregation have a captivating and passionate sense of your identity involving the eternal mission of God and the everlasting purpose of your congregation (who you are), your enduring core values (what you believe o
Partially because it is important for congregations to have vision plus intentionality so they are on a focused spiritual and strategic journey that will allow them to thrive with vitality and vibrancy, congregational leaders are prone to declare they have vision when they do not. Who wants to b
Congregations seeking to transform are willing to appear foolish to those who are uncommitted to a radical Christian faith. In their foolishness these congregations are embraced by the power of God and the wisdom of God. “For the world of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing
Congregations seeking to transform connect with people in the community context because their concern is engaging people in a Christ-centered, faith-based journey. Congregations seeking to grow their attendance to make the church successful keep trying to attract people to attend the church. Connecting is primarily concerned about people. Attractin
Congregations seeking to transform often benefit from the presence of visionary, permission-giving leaders. These are leaders who have a balanced vision for inviting people to connect with a Christian-centered faith-based personal journey, discipling these people, and engaging them missionally. One key is that these leaders recognize that without thi
I have read thousands of books during my life. Probably 90 percent of them have been non-fiction books. The picture with this blog post is a good representation of the stacks of books in my office when I lacked the shelf space for them. As I begin the four-yea
Implications for the Congregation Life Cycle [See all articles in this series HERE.] A huge shift in the focus and impact of the four organizing principles in congregational life has taken place in the past dozen years or so. This is the crescendo around the importance of Relationship Experience
Congregations seeking to transform have an ever clearer vision of the future of the congregation toward which God is pulling it. But that vision is more than a rallying cry for the movement of the congregation. It is a validator of their actions. Congregations who fail at transformation ma
Congregations seeking to transform never see Sundays as an event that goes well or does not go well. It is important to plan and prepare for Sundays. It is important to evaluate Sundays so you can do it better next time. But Sundays are intended to primarily be a
Congregations seeking to transform make use of the interim period between pastors. They do not rush out to secure the next pastor. They take their time. They secure an interim pastor who can provide solid spiritual and strategic leadership. They seek to renew their commitment to a Christ-centered, faith-base
Congregations seeking to transform recognize that unity is not achieved by everyone sitting in the same worship center during the same hour participating in the same worship style. They also recognize that disunity can happen unintentionally when people sit in different places to worship at a different hour participatin
Implications from the Congregation Life Cycle [See all articles in this series HERE.] What are the categories you use to describe your congregation? What frameworks or assessment tools do you use? Is the best category size, age, location, growth status, worship style, denominational affiliation, facilities, disciplemaking processes, pastoral leadership
Congregations seeking to transform work to increase the percentage of people connected with their congregation who are committed to forward, proactive action empowered by God’s future vision for the congregation. It cannot be a few people. It must be many people. A number equal to 50 percent of th
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