I want to share this article by Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources:
I have been a student of American churches for thirty years. That statement really means two things: I’m old, and I’m a slow learner.
In those thirty years, one of my most fascinating learning ventures has been the discovery of breakout churches. Simply defined, a breakout church is a congregation that has experienced at least five years of decline followed by at least five years of growth. While numerical growth is not the inerrant barometer for church health, we researchers must use numerical gauges for much of our objective data.
The Common Factor
As my research team began sorting and analyzing the data of some 50,000 churches, we found a common factor in many of the breakout churches: the breakout took place when the church got a new pastor. While that finding is helpful from a research perspective, it’s not very helpful to many churches. And it’s certainly not helpful to the pastors of struggling churches.
So our research took a new twist. We only looked at churches that experienced breakoutswithout changing pastors. I was encouraged by our findings. (emphasis mine)
The Seven Traits . . . click here for the rest of the article by Thom Rainer.
I have recently been trained at LifeWay headquarters as a Transformational Church Consultant which is based upon this research and a study of the church at Antioch (the apostle Paul's home church). I believe that existing churches are about to breakout as never before. God is stirring His church. It is beginning with His pastors and is spreading through His church.
The stories about breakout churches could very well be the story yet to be told of your church. I would count it a privilege to encourage, assess, guide, consult and coach your church through the process. This is the reason ReFocused Ministry exists.
Are you ready to get off the carousel of churchianity and breakout and become the exciting transformational agent God has designed His church to be? The transformation of the existing church is the single greatest opportunity for the advancement of the Gospel in America today.