The preservation phase is a challenging season for churches. The signs of decline and lack of health become obvious, but the pain typically isn’t bad enough to foster a desire for change. Wondering if your church is stuck here? Here are some of the characteristics of churches in the preservation phase.
Browsing: Growing Strategies
Churches are typically in the maintenance season for months or even years before they realize it.
Most churches start, grow, thrive, decline and eventually end. But I believe God’s plan for our churches is that they grow in maturity towards a peak of sustained health. How can you avoid getting stuck in one of these phases and succeed in experiencing sustained health?
When churches are small, relationships drive everything. Relationships are the reason people show up to events. But that dynamic is different in large churches. If the goal is to encourage relationships that foster spiritual growth, bigger events actually make it more challenging. So how should large churches define what is a “win” for their events?
5 Questions for a Better Discipleship Path – Defining a Simple, Effective Discipleship Process (Part 2)
If we’re going to build a framework that helps move people toward maturity and Christ-likeness, we’ve got to think clearly about identifying steps where progress can be measured. Can you imagine what would happen in the church if it were to be intentional about moving people through a purposeful pathway? First off, we would need to have one. And secondly, it would need to work. But if those things were true, we could turn the world upside down in a single generation. These 5 questions will help you consider how to improve your discipleship process.
In the church world we have a measurement problem. Not necessarily with finances or attendance, but with the one thing we’re tasked with doing: making disciples.This raises a fairly important question: What does spiritual progress look like, and how can we help people recognize movement in their own journey? Here are six indicators that someone is growing spiritually…
It’s so much easier to read the headlines — to watch the show and allow the stereotypes to create monsters out of the people coming behind us — than it is to listen. If we refuse to engage on a personal level with the people we go before, our churches will never succeed in reaching Millennials.
You might be spreading yourself too thin… I’m always fascinated when I hear about research that brings more clarity to how God has created our brains. Recently I listened to a podcast interview with Robin Dunbar about our relational capacity. I can’t help but think about how we could be applying these findings to ministry strategy.
What are some potential indicators that your church may have back door issues?
Declining weekend worship attendance numbers; lots of new families registering in kids ministry but overall attendance staying flat; and number of giving units and/or per capita giving decreasing — just to name a few. But what’s the root cause of the issue? Here are a few I’ve seen throughout the years, along with some suggestions for addressing them.
They were ready for us. They created an experience that drew us in, and all of our lives were changed forever in the days and years going forward. Their front door, the weekend experience, was welcoming, warm and just what this tired, spiritually disconnected family needed. However, if I take a step back, what they really did right is what I believe is the biggest barrier to the front doors of our churches.
Is it possible that in our attempts to connect with guests, we actually push people away by feeling corporate and transactional? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for following up personally with as many people as possible. But the way we go about it sets the tone for our relationships with them. Simply asking for contact info and sending some one-way scripted messages (even on a phone call) is far from making a connection.
“A big reason why we have small groups is to close the back door of the church.” Most church leaders would probably agree with this statement. After all, we know that if people are not connected in the church, they will eventually drift out of the church. So, we design our groups strategy to catch them as soon as possible. It is important that people in our church get connected in community, but we’re missing a critical evangelism opportunity if that’s our only plan for small groups.