Churches Can Grow – The Evidence is in

Many leaders of churches I work with today express a priority to reach new people, and make changes necessary to attract  families with children and youth. So, how does a church regain vitality in order to attract new people, especially at a time when so many traditional congregations are declining?

One small church I encountered, does the basics well (worship, education, fellowship, managing conflict and engaging people’s gifts). Through an evidence based discernment process using the CAT (Church Assessment Tool) the data shows a culture (the “operating system”) prepared to share itself with newcomers.

In addition, in this “operating system” of this church:

  • Hospitality is a genuine strength and not just something that they pay lip service to. There is warmth and authenticity. The long time members are eager to welcome and to share leadership. This church  continually draws new people. No one feels like an outsider. Each month this church hosts a meal for the community, and nearly 150 people show up and are embraced. Vacation Bible School aims to serve the community and the monthly meal are feeder systems to reach new people and make an impact in the community.
  • They together deal well with conflict, handling issues with grace and care for one another. Leaders don’t back down about important issues, but they don’t do things that damage their mission and vitality as a congregation.

Granted, it is hard for a congregation to reach new generations, especially once it loses all its younger folks. But I know that when leaders have the courage to make major changes and live deeply into the mission, churches can rebuild. It is happening in some churches now.

If you’re ready to explore possibilities for your church, contact MSC to arrange a consultation. DD1BE256-12F5-412D-AA81-4D70B5AA02CA

Author: mustardseedonline10

Kurt Jacobson is a trained interpretive consultant of Holy Cow! assessments serving churches across WI and beyond. An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he served Trinity Lutheran Church, Eau Claire for 28 years. In 2016 he formed Mustard Seed Consulting. Jacobson holds a BA in Business/Hospital Administra on and Organiza onal Communication from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN and a Masters of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. He holds a certificate in Intentional Interim Ministry from the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors. He is the author of “Welcoming Grace: Words of Love for All.” In addition, the book “The State of the ELCA” by Russell Crabtree, founder of Holy Cow! includes a chapter detailing the work Kurt did in making Trinity a transformational congregation. He lives near Cumberland, WI.

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