Early Signs Your Church Is Headed for Decline | The Unstuck Church

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Last week I shared about the 7 Phases of a Church’s Life Cycle, the key concept in my new book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health, available from Thomas Nelson on May 16.

Every church has the potential to go through a very similar life cycle, the peak of which is a phase I call “sustained health.” I believe God desires that our churches reach and live in that peak, where life change is occurring, healthy growth is happening, and the church is fulfilling its purpose and vision.

But gravity pulls on healthy churches, and we all tend to start drifting over the hump.
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It’s never “all of a sudden.” Because of that, churches are typically in the maintenance season for months or even years before they realize it.

That’s what’s so challenging about all three phases on the right side of the life cycle. They are hard to confirm and even harder to accept. And that makes leading change extremely difficult.

Leaders will see it before the congregation does.

Leaders tend to understand the present condition and future ramifications before others. That’s a characteristic of those who truly have the spiritual gift of leadership.

Still, in no season is the assessment of the condition of the church more confusing than during this maintenance phase. One of the reasons is that it can feel like the strategic growth phase in so many ways. The differences are very subtle. They both have some solid foundations of health, such as:

  • A clear vision for the future
  • Established systems and strategies
  • Strong giving

 

But there are two key indicators that differentiate those phases. I share more on that in this video clip:

The life cycle of a church will play out predictably through all seven phases if the leaders ignore the signs or refuse to take steps toward sustained health. If you’ve slipped into maintenance mode, don’t delay to address the underlying issues that are setting decline in motion.


Pre-Order The Unstuck Church

If you pre-order before the book releases on May 16, you’ll get a few extras:

  • Access to an invite-only webinar I’ll host to dive deeper into The Unstuck Church, and a chance to participate in the live Q&A portion of the event.
  • Coupon code for free resources from the TonyMorganLive.com store for the rest of 2017 (a more than $250 value).
  • And, your church will be entered to win a free on-site Ministry Health Assessment with The Unstuck Group (a $5,000-$10,000 value, depending on the size of the church). In May, one winner will be selected at random from all entries.

Pre-Order The Unstuck Church

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About Author

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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