Congregations that have reached late stages of the life cycle will simply not benefit from another revitalization effort. The leaders that could have helped champion revitalization are long gone. Over the last five to ten years, the church has likely tried every approach imaginable and has probably run through a few pastors in the process. If this condition of “old age” has endured for more than seven years, you might consider a
Once you recognize your church is at the end of its life cycle, it’s time to begin considering a path forward. For many pastors, the idea of a restart can seem like a very appealing “fix-all”—like the superglue of the local church. However, for some congregations, a full church restart is not the solution they need. By simply working with what they have through a revisioning or revitalization effort, many congregations in decline can start a new healthy life cycle. There are many resources for revitalizing a church (see Resources page), so we won’t try to reinvent the wheel here.
If your church is clearly in the final stages of the life cycle, there are a number of ways to lead and implement a restart. In our interviews with restart pastors, we found that restarts come in many different forms. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
There are two primary ways we might be able to help. Let us know 1) if your church could benefit from a D2R conversation, or 2) if your church wants to help someone else on their journey. We want to know how we can best serve you and your congregation. Nothing would please us more than to see a once dying church becoming a thriving congregation!