Churches lapse into plateau and decline because, over time, they turn more and more inward. The solution is simply that churches must turn outward in order to correct spiritual negatives and to reach lost communities strategically. When they do, they foster health and growth, and see an increase in turnout.

You will learn:

* The origin and nature of plateau and decline.
* Spiritual and strategic dynamics of moving from plateau and decline to health and growth.
* The first steps in turning their churches around by turning their churches outward.

Speaker: Ken Priddy
Consultant, United Front Ministries
Bio: Ken Priddy is a seasoned church planter and church development and redevelopment specialist. These disciplines merged in Ken’s ministry as Senior Pastor of Bridgeway Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona, the ReStart of a church that was founded in 1906 and that had dwindled down to six families. In 1993, Ken accepted the call to transplant the remnant of this dying church. By June 2000, Bridgeway was a church of over 300 with an annual budget approaching a half-million dollars. The once struggling church conducted ministry in a new facility on 14 acres of land. Over 100 had been baptized by profession of faith, and Bridgeway was providing dynamic ministries in its own community and in nearby northern Mexico.

The TurnOut Solution

TurnOut Solution Church ConsultingLeading church analysts such as Lyle Schaller, George Barna, and Mike Regele stress the alarming truth that over 80% of American Protestant churches are in plateau and decline. The church in America has lost its ability to reach its transitioning communities for Christ, turning ever inward in the service of itself as it abandons its zeal for evangelism. The time is now for the cycle of plateau and decline to be broken.

The 3 Phases of the Church Lifecycle

1. Incline : Future oriented, vision driven, community focused, $ is seen as an investor in the future, conversion is the goal.
2. Recline (plateau): Present oriented (wish they could ‘freeze time’), program driven, congregation focused, $ is a provider for the cost of programs, growth is from transfer as people seek better programs.
3. Decline: Past oriented, structure driven (“it’s the way we’ve always done things), core group focused (a subset of the congregation that are the old-timers from the good old days), $ is to be preserved to survive.)

Recommended Reading: Historical Drift: Must My Church Die? by Arnold Cook

There are four types of people in every church:

1. Theorists
2. Realists
3. Pragmatists
4. Preservationists

The TurnOut program focuses on changing the vision of the church to identify need and reach out to the community around them. This can be both outward ministry and changing the way ministry functions (worship styles, etc.).

To begin change you build a team of theorists who identify a vision and begin to execute. As progress is made, the realists are brought in and begin to see the vision. After change starts to show results, the pragmatists jump on board. Often as this vision is cast and executed, people from outside the church catch the vision and join in.

The Two Pillars of TurnOut

1. Spiritual Renewal
2. Strategic Initiative

If this is something you are interested in, learn more at their website. You can start with a church assesment tool to determine whether your church is in incline, recline or decline.

Also see: Churches: Breaking the 125 Barrier
Breaking Attendance Barriers