Declining but delightful churches help us see a “third way” to be a small-but-healthy church that isn’t growing at a megachurch scale or declining rapidly
Tag Archives | growth
by Susan Nienaber on August 27, 2018
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.
by Dan Hotchkiss on June 11, 2018
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 […]
by John Wimberly on May 21, 2018
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 […]
by Susan Nienaber on February 5, 2018
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.
by Susan Nienaber on June 5, 2017
For some pastors and lay people in mainline/established traditions, the word evangelism has become, if not a “dirty” word, an unpleasant one. How can we get more comfortable with the e-word?
by David Brubaker on May 30, 2017
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?