Tag Archives | growth

Delta-shield

Reaching the Next Generation

Call me overly optimistic or even naïve—but I think it is still possible for congregations to reach the next generation successfully. One key skill will be to listen to our mission field—the people and communities around us—better and more deeply than we’ve listened in the past.

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pinocchio lying

Five Lies We Like to Tell About Church Growth

Some churches grow, and others shrink. Most oscillate for decades around a size that it finds comfortable. When a church gets too small for its own comfort, it plugs newcomers into spots left vacant by those who have departed. When it grows too big, it lets newcomers know they are not needed. This oscillation can […]

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green leaves growing

To Grow or Not to Grow: Not Always an Easy Question

Most congregations say they want to grow in membership and mission—a goal that feels more urgent as the members age. In worship, a person aged 65 is likely to see mostly older people. It’s a good way to feel young at age 65! However, it is not a great sign for the congregation’s future. If […]

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Country-church-bright-sunny-autumn-day_-_West_Virginia_-_ForestWander

A Recipe for Vitality

It is hard for a congregation to revitalize, but when leaders have the courage to make major changes and live deeply into the mission, churches can rebuild. I know this, because it’s happening now in many places.

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Inclusion - House of Prayer for All People

Beyond Hospitality to Inclusion

Nearly every congregation wants to perceive itself as an open community that welcomes newcomers. Yet congregational leaders often say, “People visit a few times, but they don’t stay!” Why do congregations experience this so often?

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Schleiermacher as a young man

Why “Spiritual but not Religious” is a Good Thing!

As a baby boomer, I am disappointed by church members in my generation who, all too frequently, dismiss millennials and others who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” It is a theme I hear constantly in my consulting practice. “Why focus on them when they have already told us they are spiritual but not […]

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