August 19, 2020 Tony Morgan

Accelerating Change: Maintenance Phase – Episode 156 | The Unstuck Church Podcast

Part 1 – How the Pandemic Is Accelerating Decline in Churches That Were Already on the Declining Side of the Typical Church Lifecycle

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“Embrace the change before the emergency forces the change.”

I pulled this from my book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Experience Sustained Health. I’ve never claimed to be a prophet, but I’m starting to wonder… :-)

I wrote the book in 2017, but I’m amazed at how much of the content applies to today’s context.

The Church has been experiencing a significant amount of change over the past few years. Even before the pandemic hit, I had hundreds of conversations with pastors about declining in-person attendance, fewer new people connecting to the church, a struggling online experience and more.

Now that churches are settling into the new normal, my suspicion is that the pandemic will only accelerate what we were already seeing before. And based on what I’ve heard from a lot of you, I think you agree.

These trends have also been confirmed through our Unstuck Church Assessment. Over 85% of churches landed on the right side of the lifecycle, meaning they’re in some form of decline, with over 60% of those landing in Maintenance Phase.

Amy and I are starting part 1 of a 3-part conversation about the three phases on the right side of the lifecycle—Maintenance, Preservation and Life Support. And today, we’re highlighting how the change we’re experiencing affects those in Maintenance Phase.

Before you listen, I want to leave you with this—if your church is stuck in maintenance, you will not drift back to health. NOW is the time to discern God’s direction for your ministry and then implement an action plan to move forward and get back to health.

Don’t wait for the vaccine. Don’t want for pre-covid attendance levels. Don’t wait for normal. 

In this conversation, Amy and I discuss…

  • Key characteristics of a church in the Maintenance Phase and how the pandemic is exacerbating the problems that led there
  • Data trends that were happening before the pandemic, and the how the pandemic has affected that data
  • Why you have to embrace the difference between mission and vision
  • How healthy churches are embracing the new normal and thriving in this new reality
  • Best practices to help you get out of maintenance phase (these are helpful for churches in any stage)
  • How to shift as a church to become more outsider-focused
When everything you do is focused on people who already attend your church, you create barriers for engaging new people. And that’s how your church starts to die. #unstuckchurch [episode 156]Click to Tweet In Maintenance Phase, you have a full tank of gas, but your check engine light is on. #unstuckchurch [episode 156]Click To Tweet

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Transcript 

Sean (00:02):

Welcome to The Unstuck Church podcast where each week we’re exploring what it means to be an unstuck church. Over the last several years, more than 15,000 churches have taken the free Unstuck Church assessment to identify where their churches and its life cycle. Of those 15,000 plus churches, 85% of them have self identified as being in some measure of decline. And now with the world quickly changing around us, many churches sense that decline is accelerating. On today’s podcast, Tony and Amy begin a three-part series on how churches can assess where they are today and begin to plan a new way forward. Before you listen today, though, make sure you stop and subscribe to get the show notes. Each week, you’re going to get resources to go along with that week’s episode, access to our podcast resource archive, and occasionally bonus resources that you’re not going to find anywhere else. Just go to theunstuckgroup.com/podcast and subscribe. Now let’s join Tony and Amy for this week’s conversation.

Amy (01:00):

Tony, it’s good to be back in the recording studio, but it feels like we’re picking right back up where we left off a few weeks ago. We’re still talking about change. Do we have to talk about change is my question?

Tony (01:12):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s like we’re living Groundhog day all over again and I, yeah, I get it. I mean, we are. We’re still talking about change, and I’m feeling it, even in my immediate family. So just in the last number of weeks, I have had two adult children take new positions at new companies. I have two kids that have moved to completely different cities. I have two kids that thought they were going to be attending in person classes and a couple of weeks later found out they were not going to be attending in person classes. And now they’re talking about attending in person classes again. And by the way, I only have four kids. So there were different combinations of kids doing all those things. And on top of that, we’re in the middle of some fairly significant changes at The Unstuck Group, which we’ll be talking about in the coming weeks. You know, just like all of you, we’re trying to pivot and respond to the changes that are happening. So, you know, I thought about launching a completely new website called stopchange.org. I think I could get a lot of traction around that right now, but actually I searched for it cause I tend to collect domains, and somebody has already purchased that domain name. So don’t try to look for that.

Amy (02:26):

I’ve never done that in my life, by the way, search for domains to claim. Well, anyways, today, we’re starting a new podcast series about change, but we’re calling this accelerating change. And Tony, why do you sense what we’re experiencing is accelerating change for churches?

Tony (02:43):

Yeah. So as if listening to another podcast about change wasn’t bad enough, now we’re going to talk about accelerating that change. Oh my goodness. Everybody’s going to stop listening, Amy, why are we doing this to ourselves? In fact, just, just Google “COVID accelerating change.” I mean, you’ll be amazed at the number of articles that will pop up about not just what’s happening in church world, which is our context obviously, but how what we’re going through right now is impacting every sector of society. Just one example, I found a Wall Street Journal article, when I Googled that, that was talking about before the pandemic, this is the line from the article, before the pandemic, about a hundred of the nation’s 1000 private liberal arts colleges were going to close over the next five years. Now, given what we’ve experienced, the article said 200 of those schools are going to close within the next year. And so it’s just one example of, there were changes that were impacting, in this case, private liberal arts colleges before the COVID pandemic, but what we’ve experienced in the last several months, it’s accelerating that change. So, let’s put this in the context of churches, and this is not going to be a good news. But I think it’s helpful for us to understand the reality of where we’re living. Let me share some data with you that describes the challenges that churches are facing. 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion. That’s down from 12 percentage points over the past decade. So that’s how quickly society is changing and it’s viewpoint about who Jesus is and faith. Here’s another stat. Religiously unaffiliated share of the population, these are those folks that describe their religious identity either as atheist agnostic or none in particular, that now stands at 26% of adults. And that’s up from 17% a decade previously. Here’s another one. The majority of US adults, 54%, attend a church a few times a year or less. And so now again, if you know the majority of adults in our country, they’re only going to church a few times at best. About two thirds of those people admitted, they seldom or never attend church. And it’s funny, Amy, we were talking about this a little bit earlier today. I think as church people, we get hung up whether we should view those folks that are they unchurched or are they dechurched? And I’m thinking, the majority of people are not going to church in our country. Who cares if they’re unchurched or de-churched? Here’s some more information. This is just regarding church attendance. The builder generation. Now 61% of the builder regeneration, would consider themselves to be regular church attenders. And by the way, this is at least once a month, okay. Boomers, those are my parents, 49%. Gen X, my generation, 46%. Millennials, 35%, those are my kids. Now here’s what shocking is all of this data that I’m sharing was before the coronavirus. All of this data comes from the Pew Research Center. It was released last year before we experienced this pandemic. And the question I would have for you if you’re listening, is what about what we’ve experienced over the last five months is going to reverse those trends that I just described? And I would argue instead that the pandemic that we’ve experienced is only going to accelerate those trends. In fact, we do have some data from some research during these last number of months that speaks to that. So at one example, churches have been focused on ministry to their congregation and not their communities. And we’ve seen that in the data we’ve collected. Very few new people are connecting to churches in this season. Here’s another piece. With the exception of small rural churches, people are not returning to in-person services. And I just had another conversation yesterday, a church well over 2000 people, at best they’re seeing 20% of their congregation engaged in their services. Last month, Gallup did a survey. They reported a third of practicing Christians have stopped attending online church, and they haven’t come back to in-person church yet either, Amy. And then more disconcerting here, millennials, only 30% of practicing Christians that are millennials are still attending their church. 8% have found another church and 50% have stopped attending church altogether. And these are, again, these are not the nuns. These are not unchurched, de-churched millennials. These are millennials that are practicing the faith. They, in this season at least, have either found another church or the majority of them have stopped attending church altogether. And again, what we’ve experienced in the last five months, I don’t think it’s going to reverse these trends. It’s only going to accelerate the changes that churches were experiencing before the pandemic.

Amy (08:36):

Well, any final thoughts Tony, before we finish the podcast? Just Kidding. No, I think these trends that you were talking about was also confirmed by the data that we collected, right, at The Unstuck Church assessment, isn’t that correct?

Tony (08:52):

That’s right. So, through the years we’ve 15,000 churches that have taken our free online assessment, and of those 15,000 churches over 85% of them self-identified through the assessment that they were on the declining side of the church life cycle. So they’d experienced whatever health growth they have in the past. And now they identified they’re either in plateau or they’re in decline. In fact, more specifically, 61% of the churches said we’re in maintenance. 8% said we’re in preservation. 17% said we’re in life support. So again, a lot of this data was collected before coronavirus. I’m not sure that what we’ve experienced in recent months is going to turn this around.

Amy (09:43):

Actually, I think that’s where I really want to go with today’s conversation. You know, Tony, a few weeks ago, I was looking at those stats and then reading some of what you wrote in your book, The Unstuck Church, just about the churches and those three phases of the life cycle. And in your book, you highlighted characteristics of churches in each of these phases. And then you described changes each church would need to make to return to sustained health, to get back to the left side of the life cycle. So as I was reviewing some of that content though, Tony, it struck me like you wrote all of this before the COVID pandemic and all the other shifts that we’ve been experiencing in recent months. But I think those principles apply today probably actually more than ever before. So with that, I think we’re going to talk about how the accelerating change that we’re experiencing is impacting churches in all three of these phases over the next three weeks. So today let’s actually begin with those churches that are in or were in the maintenance phase and what some of those characteristics are that are stuck in maintenance.

Tony (10:48):

Yeah. And Amy, I’m not going to detail all the characteristics that I wrote about in The Unstuck Church book. But let me highlight some of the attributes that I think are most challenging, given this current situation that we’re facing as churches. So one of the highlight characteristics, the things that we have always looked for in churches that have slipped into the maintenance mode, is they’ve become more insider-focused over time. And by the way, as it relates to our current situation, this includes how they’re leveraging their online strategy in this season. We’re seeing churches that are in this kind of maintenance mindset, right? When you look at their online experiences, their online strategy, more generally, it’s really geared to people that are already connected to the church. And so one of the characteristics is there’s this insider focus. Another characteristic, and it’s been interesting in the current month how this has played out, is they tend to be driven by programs and events. And we talked about this, you and I did in the Masterclass we did last week. How there needs to be this shift from gatherings, where we’re just trying to get as many people together at the church as possible, to connecting and relationship. And for churches that have faced this challenge in the past, they are struggling in the season because they’ve relied so heavily on programs and events in the past, they didn’t do the harder work of connecting people relationally. And now they’re really struggling to help people stay engaged to what’s happening in their ministry. So it’s really compounding the challenge that churches are facing in this maintenance season. Another characteristic, these churches tend to be overstaffed with ministry silos. And again, what we’re experiencing now is kind of exasperating the challenges that churches are facing. Because in many instances, we have found that churches hired a lot of staff to do specific things in the ministry. And well, now they’re not able to do a lot of those things because the church isn’t meeting together, or at least the majority of the church isn’t meeting together. And then on top of that, a lot of those folks, good people love Jesus, love the church, good at the specific function that they were doing in ministry, but they’re not wired up, they’re not gifted, to initiate the types of changes that are required in the season. And just one example would be the shift from analog to digital that we’ve been talking about. Folks that have been hired to do ministry, they do that well, but they’re not able to think about digital ministry strategy as an example. And so, again, this is kind of a compounding factor that churches are facing in this season if they’re in the maintenance mode. Another characteristic, stale vision. So you’ve talked a lot about, and I’m glad for the conversation around that pyramid diagram that you’ve shared many times and have highlighted, you know, there’s a foundation piece about our beliefs, our mission, why we exist as a church, the fact that we’re trying to make disciples of Jesus, none of that changes, but the direction that we’re heading as a church, including primarily the vision for the future, that has to change over time and especially given what we’ve experienced now, healthy churches are recognizing this. And so we’ve had a number of conversations in recent months with churches that are saying, we’re not going back to normal, and so the vision that we had in the past for our congregation, it needs to change. And so they’re having vision conversations in this season as opposed to the churches that are stuck, which are just trying to figure out how do we get back to doing church the way we did it in the past, and how do we move forward with the vision that we embraced in the past as well? This is the crazy thing though, about churches that are in the maintenance phase of the church life cycle. So they’re plateaued or they’re in decline, but they’re financially healthy. And this hasn’t changed in the last number of months because we’ve heard from a number of churches, actually, their giving has held steady through this crisis. And in fact, we’ve heard some churches giving’s even picked up. And then if you add to that, the fact that expenses in many cases have been reduced, and in many instances, churches have also participated in the PPP Loan/Grant program. These churches are financially doing pretty well right now. And if that were the only factor that you were looking at, you would say there’s nothing for these churches to be concerned about. But all of these other characteristics we described would say, actually no, the check engine lights going off, and we need to begin to pay attention to this.

Amy (15:56):

Yeah. We have a full tank of gas, but the check engine lights going on.

Tony (15:59):

There you go. There you go. That’s good, Amy.

Amy (16:03):

Thanks. Well, in The Unstuck Church, you talk about five changes that churches need to make to return to sustained health. And I know we don’t have time to unpack all five today, but I’d like you to hit just a couple of them beginning with that vision piece. And I honestly can’t believe you wrote this a few years ago, but you said, you said this about churches stuck in maintenance. You have to renew the vision, right? So you said, “embrace the change before the emergency forces that change.” And I think we’re starting to see the impact for churches that didn’t heed that advice.

Tony (16:35):

Yeah. I’ve never claimed to be a prophet, but now I look at that, I think, huh? Maybe I am. Yeah, the mission explains why an organization exists. And so if you haven’t confirmed your mission and actually, you know, I think it’s helpful to articulate that in a short, concise statement so that everybody knows this is why we exist as a church. The vision, on the other hand, it clarifies where the organization is going in the future. For us, where is our church going in the future? And it’s important to remember that the mission it’s rarely if ever going to change. The vision, on the other hand, it does need to be refreshed. At The Unstuck Group, we’re encouraging churches to consider refreshing their vision every few years or so. And for a church that has plateaued or started down that right side of the life cycle, this really is a critical first step to returning to health. And in this season, again, let me say that if you’re stuck in this season, it’s a critical first step to returning to health for you to revisit your vision. And especially based on what we’ve seen in the last few months. And so, as I mentioned earlier, this is this type of hard work that healthy churches are doing in this season. They’re not waiting for people to come back to church. They’re not waiting for the vaccine or something that’s going to heal people from the virus and then heal our economy and then hopefully heal our churches. Healthy churches that we’re working with right now are taking a look at what impact does this have on the future direction that God is taking our churches? And one example, great church, you would know the name of the church if I mentioned it, but I don’t want to call them out because there’s still some hard work they’re doing internally to work through this. But they’re thinking about new vision in terms of we’re going to have to become a completely different church for the future. And so they’re not going to rename their church. They’re not going to relocate their church, but they’re talking about treating this like a relaunch for their church with a completely new vision and new ministry strategies to support it. And they’re not the only church that we’ve engaged in this conversation with in recent months. I’ve in recent, actually recent weeks, have talked with a Baptist church in Texas about their new vision for the future. There’s a great Presbyterian church out of Washington state. We’ve been talking about their new vision for the future, a nondenominational church in the UK. Same conversations. How does this change where God’s taking our church in the future. Another Baptist church in Mississippi, there’s a whole network of churches that we’re working with in Washington, D.C. And I could go on and on and on. In this moment, they’re taking the time, not only to figure out, you know, how do we get back to reopening our churches? In this moment, they’re taking a longer term view of figuring out where is God calling us to go in the future and how are we going to get there? So here’s, here’s my encouragement. Don’t wait for the vaccine. Don’t wait to return to pre-COVID attendance levels. Don’t wait to return to normal. Normal is not going to come back. If your church is stuck in maintenance, you’re not going to drift back to health. Now is a time to discern what is God’s direction for our ministry, and then to begin to implement an action plan to begin to move forward.

Amy (20:23):

And why I hear that is so important, Tony, is if we’re talking about accelerating change, if you were in maintenance four or five months ago, that slide down to preservation is a steeper, quicker slide than it’s ever been before. So, alright, let’s get on the solution side a little bit, Tony, in the book you described some best practices for renewing vision. I know you talk about this all the time, but maybe there’s a lot of pastors who don’t, so can you share just some of those best practices for renewing vision?

Tony (20:51):

Absolutely. Yeah. So let me run through some quick bullet points here. First, don’t go at it alone. If you’re trying to re-envision where you’re heading as a ministry, I would encourage you to involve a dozen or so strategically minded leaders. These could be other staff or other lay leaders from your church. You’re going to benefit from a collaborative process doing this. And I would argue with actually the New Testament model. So we’re the body of Christ, and there are people that are gonna come with different perspectives about where we’re heading next as a church. And collaboration is a good thing. So if you’re a senior pastor and you’re thinking, do I have to come up with this vision on my own? The answer to that, I think, is absolutely not. Second thing, don’t try to develop a vision with the entire congregation having a voice. So this is the opposite end of the spectrum. In other words, you can’t survey your way to vision. God’s leaders should develop the vision for God’s church. And the reality is you’re never going to get consensus for what the future is if you try to include everybody’s voice in this process. Third bullet point. Once you have building blocks of vision in place, then you want to consider how can we engage other leaders, both staff and lay leaders, in developing action plans to carry out that vision. You need to use this renewed vision as an opportunity to rally people. And so when you get a bold, clear vision, it should rally people to invest more of their prayers, more of their time, more of their financial resources. And if it doesn’t do that, your vision is probably not bold enough. And so just making sure that where you land on vision, it really mobilizes people in your congregation. And then a final consideration when you’re thinking about future vision, don’t be surprised when a renewed vision causes some people to leave the church. In fact, what we’ve seen is that big, bold vision for the future, it’s going to push some people away, and every great vision experiences this. Your vision will not be the exception. So it’s actually a sign of getting clarity around a clear, bold vision when it pushes some people away from our churches.

Amy (23:17):

And I’ve heard you say this before, Tony, and I agree and I’ve seen it a bold vision will cause some people to leave, but not having a bold vision will also cause some people to leave and to drift away from the church. All right. So renewing the vision, that’s one of the five changes you recommend for churches stuck in the maintenance phase, but let’s hit, I think we have time for one more today. What’s another change these churches need to make?

Tony (23:42):

Yeah. So a second change, and I actually about three more beyond the two we’re talking about today in the book. But the second one that I want to highlight today is you have to make the change to prioritize reaching new people. So let me be more specific here. You have to make the change to prioritize reaching new younger adults. And that’s the key for the churches that are stuck in maintenance. If they don’t prioritize reaching new younger adults, as you just highlighted, Amy, it’s even being accelerated now. Eventually that church is going to find itself in preservation and then eventually life support. And so let me go back to the trends we talked about at the top of this conversation. Two thirds of young adults are unchurched. So you can look at that as a challenge, or you can look at that as an opportunity. I look at that as an opportunity. Of those young adults who are actually practicing Christians, 50% of them have stopped attending church during this crisis. I mean, again, I hope this is just a huge wake up call to churches. And I hope you’re finally beginning to notice that check engine light that we were talking about earlier. It’s flashing on the dashboard. We’re losing this next generation as churches. And we have to make the changes if we’re going to engage young adults who are outside the church and outside the faith. And just bottom line here, what we’ve been doing, it’s not working. It’s not connecting with new young adults. So the big question here is what are we willing to do to reach people outside the church and outside the faith? And then when everything you do is focused on people who are already attending your church, by doing that, you’re creating barriers for those new people that you’re trying to reach. So, it’s really how we see when churches are in maintenance season. If all their focus is to people that are already connected to the church, it’s how churches really start to take a step toward preservation and eventually life support, Amy.

Amy (25:48):

Yeah, so Tony, how do you suggest churches shift to become more outward focused, especially with this challenge to connect with young adults?

Tony (25:56):

Yeah. And here it’s really a two pronged attack, Amy. And we were talking about this a lot before the COVID pandemic that the execution looks a little bit different today, and I think it will in the future, but the principles are the same. You do, I think, as churches have to look at this as there’s these two aligned strategies that we’re engaging. The first is the church’s strategy, more corporately. And this in recent weeks, we’ve been talking about needs to be done through a clear, digital ministry strategy that’s designed to reach an online audience. And, we were just having a conversation with one of our good friends on The Unstuck team earlier today. They’ve done this hard work. And I mean, these are the conversations that churches ought to be having. And they’re living by example here. They went back, they clarified their mission field. Who are we trying to reach? What are our needs? What are their needs? The person we’re trying to reach, and how do we, as a church, respond to those need?. And in the conversation we were having with one of our friends on our team earlier today, they said at their church, they had done this before, but they even got more focused in this season. And so that may be what your church needs to do. You just need to get more focused about who is it that we’re trying to reach? Then I think part of this strategy, it’s really about content marketing. It’s creating content, shareable content, that addresses some of the needs of the people that we’re trying to reach. And so, I mean, this is very basic, Amy, but it probably includes a combination of video, podcast, articles. I mean, things that are, it’s not full messages, by the way, it’s not full services. It’s just snippets of content that address the key questions that people are wrestling with today. The win here is to try to get them to subscribe. It’s actually encouraging them to maintain an ongoing connection to the content that you’re offering. And what we’re trying to do is start to develop a level of trust, a level of relationship with people to eventually invite them to connect to an in person experience or an online experience in this next season with our church. And that may be through your weekend services. I think in most cases it might be for the new person. It may be to an online group situation or an in-person group. But we need to eventually the win here has moved them from being subscribers to actually connecting and starting to engage relationship with people at our churches. The reality though, online is the new front door. We used to think about our weekend services as the front door. Today, the weekend services are a next step, and it’s an important next step, but that online strategy it’s the new front door for the church. So that’s the first approach.

Amy (29:03):

Yeah. And I would even add that attending the weekend service, not only is it maybe a next step, but it might be their third, fourth or fifth step. Do you know what I mean? As you’re building that relationship and having them engage through great content that’s helpful to their lives, it’ll take a little while for them, especially with the COVID impact, to actually come to a building. So, love to challenge them.

Tony (29:25):

Yeah, and remember they may not be believers yet when they eventually take that step.

Amy (29:30):

They’ve connected to the church maybe now, or connected to your content, but they haven’t connected necessarily with Christ yet.

Tony (29:36):

That’s right. I mentioned a two pronged attack. So this is the other, and this is where churches just, I think, need to get clear about the strategy and that’s having some sort of personal evangelism strategy. Well, this is the verse that provokes me. It’s 2 Corinthians 5:18, “God brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him.” I mean, there is a proactive engagement and mission that God has called each of us as Christ followers to this. And this is part of the church’s mission, but this is not talking broadly about the church. This is talking to me as a Christ-follower. He’s brought me back, and he wants me to be about reconciling people to him as well. And so we are, we’re Christ’s ambassadors. I mean, this is something that, I mean, Paul wrote about this, but this is something the church has carried with them for thousands of years. And I think we’ve kind of lost this, that part of what we’re supposed to be doing as the church is again, to equip God’s people, to do the work of God. And part of doing that work is sharing the good news. So with that, your church really needs to have a personal evangelism strategy. You need a specific strategy that you’re routinely teaching, you’re in different ways equipping people in your congregation to live this out. One example that we’ve talked about quite a bit comes from Community Christian Church. Dave and John Ferguson are pastors there at that church. They use this BLESS model. B, begin with prayer. L, listen to the person that you’re trying to develop relationship with. E, eat with them, which is the best way that you can spend intentional time with somebody. S, serve that person. And then the second S is eventually share your story. And here’s the good thing is if you’re doing those intentional things to develop relationship with folks with the B, L, E and the first S, you probably won’t have to force your story on somebody. They’re going to be asking about your story, but it’s one example of a very intentional strategy to encourage people to engage personal evangelism, which is all about building relationships with people and doing life with people so that you eventually have the opportunity to express the transformation God’s made in your life as well. The key thing here is you can’t just have a strategy for this. You need to build this into your discipleship path. It needs to be built into whatever intentional strategy you have for spiritual formation in your church. Let me leave you as we talk about both the church’s strategy in this and this personal evangelism strategy. This is, I mean, this is the great commission. We all know this, but here it is again, “Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I’ve given you and be sure of this. I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Every time I read that, there’s something else that jumps out to me, Amy. But what I want to highlight this time is teaching these new disciples. They’re new disciples. I think churches for a long time have been focused on making disciples, but they’ve been focused on discipling the people that were already disciples of Jesus. What this is highlighting is we should be focused on reaching new disciples. And this is one of the key ways that churches move beyond maintenance mode and return to sustained health. Is they shift from being focused as an inward focused church, to again, focusing on reaching people outside the church and outside the faith.

Speaker 4 (33:38):

Alright, well now, Tony, any final thoughts before we wrap up today’s conversation on maintenance?

Tony (33:44):

Yeah. So as I mentioned earlier, stuck churches, don’t just drift back to health. There need to be some intentional changes, and that’s what we do to help churches at The Unstuck Group. Through the coronavirus, it’s paused how we traditionally serve churches in the past. We’re not able to travel and visit onsite with every church, but we’ve continued to help churches during the season by engaging our virtual Unstuck Church process. This is a time where we just can’t wait to get back to normal. We just can’t wait to get back to meeting onsite with churches, and churches have engaged with us, about 50 some churches in recent months, we’ve had the opportunity to work with, to figure out what are the changes that we need to be making so that we can get back to health and reverse some of the trends that we talked about today? We want to help your church do this as well. We want to help your church take a look at vision, take a look at your ministry strategies. In many cases, the conversations we’re having with churches are also leading to looking at how we staff and how we structure for the new normal. The good news is our process is designed to do that in a 90-day sprint. We’ll help you assess plan, rebuild your structure for the future. And then we move into a monthly coaching relationship that helps you navigate these changes. And so if you’re interested in engaging with us at The Unstuck Group to help you move forward in this process, please reach out to us at theunstuckgroup.com. Let us know. We’d like to hear from you. We’d like to talk with you about the opportunities that exist for you and your leadership as well.

Sean (35:30):

Well, thanks for joining us on this week’s podcast. If you like what you’re hearing on the podcast, we’d really appreciate your help in getting the content out further. You can do that by subscribing on your favorite podcasting platform, giving us a review and telling somebody else about the podcast. As always, you can learn more about how we’re helping churches get unstuck by visiting us at theunstuckgroup.com. Next week, we’re back with another brand new episode. So until then, we hope you have a great week.

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Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, theunstuckgroup.com. 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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