This week I’m a keynote speaker at the Leadership Institute 2017, a United Methodist gathering hosted by Church of the Resurrection to help leaders increase their impact and learn practical leadership principles. I’m excited to share more about the church life cycle from my latest book, The Unstuck Church.
I personally have a positive history with the Methodist church; in fact, the ministry of a United Methodist Church is part of the reason I became a Christian. Unfortunately, like other mainline protestant denominations, this denomination is battling decades of decline.
In recent years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many Methodist churches in my role at The Unstuck Group. That experience has allowed me to witness systemic problems that create barriers for churches to experience health and growth, as well as to celebrate alongside several United Methodist churches who are bucking the trend of decline.
So, while the health of the United Methodist Church is occupying so much of my brain space this week, I wanted to reshare four articles I’ve written to encourage and exhort Methodist leaders. My heart is always to help, not criticize the denomination. I thought these posts might encourage UMC pastors, as well as those in other mainline denominations experiencing a season of decline. Here they are:
There are several significant systemic problems within the denomination that are hindering health and growth. From my perspective working with Methodist churches across the country, here are a handful of those broken systems.
“Sometimes we need to stop some things we are currently doing and start some new things.” Pastor Jim Cowart shares how his church manages culture change and measures ministry health.
“I’m convinced most churches are not looking at and carefully evaluating their culture and atmosphere.” How can you make your church interesting to those outside your church? Pastor Dale Locke shares how his church addresses this.
What is the best way for churches to measure health? In this interview, Stephen DeFur explains why he believes churches should broaden their perspective on the metrics they use to gauge health and vitality.
My sincere hope is that the United Methodist Church will embrace a new vision and fresh methods to increase their impact as culture continues to change. Of course, hope is not a strategy. But I will continue to do all I can to help these churches grow, and I pray you’ll do the same for your church.
I hope these interviews help you think through some of the issues your church is facing and some next steps you can take as a leader. And if you’re interested, take a look at how we help churches get unstuck.