Jesus knew that if his followers were going to make any difference in the world, they would need a laser-like focus on a compass, not on a clock. Sadly, congregations and clergy often abandon this truth.
Rather than thinking of turnaround as simply a reversal of numerical decline, the real turnaround for congregations that thrive in the next decade will be a move from irrelevance to relevance in the lives of their constituents and their communities.
Churches must be courageous and open to change. But sometimes, amid all the pulse-taking, evaluations, strategy planning and critiquing, we forget to love the church we have.
What are the signs that an intervention may be called for? And what should that look like?
Signs of a healthy church are not necessarily a polished worship service, a jazzy children’s program or excellent preaching, but a place where fools are welcome and celebrated. This church is led by the most foolish one of all, the God who voluntarily became human to dwell among other foolish humans, so that they might become God’s children.
Only 8 percent of American churchgoers attend congregations of more than 1,000 in weekly attendance. Yet the churches attended by 8 percent of Christians are held up as the models for every other church to emulate in order not to die.
When the visionary rhetoric of a vibrant future collides with the realities of established precedents, facilities, job titles or traditional methods, the result is conflict. This is where many congregational visioning processes get derailed.
It was awful. It was embarrassing. I couldn’t watch it anymore. My team, the Washington Redskins had started a good fight against the Seattle Seahawks on a recent Sunday night football. The Redskins came out strong and scored 14 points…