Half of all the churches in America failed to add one person through conversion last year. Every week, 43,000 Americans are leaving the church for good. And on average, churches 20 years old and older are shrinking every year, as the chart here shows.
It’s because of statistics like these that I invested three days last week in San Francisco looking for answers with a bunch of innovative pastors. It’s the fourth quarter, and it’s time we rally.
It has become clear that we must discern and launch new expressions of the gospel that engage and transform the heart. It’s not about being relevant and mimicking culture. But it is about creating a fresh God-centered culture that others are drawn to mimic.
Here are several ideas that may help provoke people to mimic you:
- Ensure that everything you do is centered around the power and hope of Christ. Social justice causes alone don’t get you there.
- Create a “Go” versus “Come” spirit in the congregation that inspires groups of families to go plant a church with a fresh expression.
- Challenge your small groups to commit to transforming your community outside the church walls. It can’t just be about safe relationships.
- Challenge everyone with the truth that they are to be a sent people. It is no longer acceptable to selfishly consume Christian services every Sunday morning.
- We must celebrate and encourage those with the gifts of creativity and innovation.
How are you and your church doing with this?