Your church doesn't have to be a grim statistic.
There is nothing - absolutely nothing - other than steadfast refusal to rejoin Jesus's mission to prohibit the revitalization of a church on plateau or in serious decline.
If Jesus could be raised from the dead, it is a small thing to resurrect your church.
Churches Revitalized Often
Despite the grim news about the vast majority of churches on plateau or in decline, there is good news out there.
Churches can and do launch off the plateau or pull out of the decline.
These turnaround churches are the subject of numerous books, case studies, and scholarly articles.
I know of churches that were on their last legs - down to fewer than two dozen elderly members - turnaround to become vigorous, life-giving congregations that thrive in their communities.
Turnaround Pastors has gathered a significant body of anecdotal evidence that half of the pastors who go through the training and mentorship end up turning their churches around. For many of them it is the first time in their ministry careers that they experienced the joy of leading vital, robust congregations. (We plan to launch a longitudinal study to confirm this anecdotal information).
Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson conclude their book Comeback Churches with these very encouraging words:
While segments of the North American church are in a period of decline or stagnation, this study reveals that there is hope for struggling and declining churches. Churches can be restored, renewed, and revitalized.
There is no denying the fact that the American Church is in serious trouble. The number of churches that close every year overwhelms the heroic church planting efforts being supported by dozens of denominations and organizations.
Churches and church plants have failed to keep pace with the burgeoning population; the number of churches as a percentage of the overall population continues to fall.
Yes, there is good news under this dark cloud. Churches can be revitalized; it happens all the time. But the number of churches being turned around needs to increase significantly.
We want to see it become common place. We'd like to see it happen for your church.
Just as joining Jesus (by faith) in life results in resurrection from the dead, so also joining Jesus (by faith and obedience) in ministry will result in your church's resurrection unto newness of ministry.