Tag Archives | decline

R. Callender, Wikimedia

When is the Right Time to Close Our Doors?

We live in anxious times, and one of the things that makes small congregations especially anxious is the fear that they might need to close. As members watch their Sunday morning worship attendance dwindle, someone usually starts “running the numbers,” trying to determine how long they can continue before the money runs out and they’re […]

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When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Trust in our institutions—and in our institutional leaders—is crumbling, but there is a bright side: Institutions, it turns out, are deeply fallible human constructions. We were mistaken to ever put our trust in them. As the walls come tumbling down around our institutional infrastructures, the local congregation may emerge as the ideal locale to build […]

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What to Do When Nothing Works Anymore

If you’re doing everything you’ve always done as a congregation but it’s not working anymore, you may be alarmed, but you’re not alone. Once upon a time, we all shared a congregational business model that seemed effective and ordained: A single site Branding that identified the congregation as a franchisee of a larger entity Management […]

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Inside the Large Congregation cover

Why We Aren’t Learning

by Susan Beaumont “What are you seeing out there that is working?” the pastor asked when we met for lunch. The assumption behind the question was that someone, somewhere had discovered a way forward, one that we might all benefit from knowing. This era of congregational life calls for innovation and learning. We praise reinvention, […]

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