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Growth by accident, death by planning : how not to kill a growing congregation

Author: Bob Whitesel
Publisher: Nashville : Abingdon Press, ©2004.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
It is a familiar experience. A congregation that had been growing in numbers and spiritual vitality reaches a plateau and then begins to decline. Most of the time, the plateau occurs long before the church arrives at the optimum number of members it hoped to attract. What has happened here? Why does growth slow down, stop, and then decline? The real question to ask, says Bob Whitesel, is why the church grew in the  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Bob Whitesel
ISBN: 0687083257 9780687083251
OCLC Number: 53000185
Description: 174 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: Graph A: Why growing churches plateau: and what you can do about it --
Missteps with staff influence --
Missteps with worship celebrations --
Missteps with prayer --
Missteps with budgets --
Missteps with new facilities --
Missteps with innovation --
Missteps with evaluation --
Missteps with dysfunctional people --
Missteps with education --
Missteps with small groups --
Missteps with the centrality of Christ.
Responsibility: Bob Whitesel.
More information:

Abstract:

It is a familiar experience. A congregation that had been growing in numbers and spiritual vitality reaches a plateau and then begins to decline. Most of the time, the plateau occurs long before the church arrives at the optimum number of members it hoped to attract. What has happened here? Why does growth slow down, stop, and then decline? The real question to ask, says Bob Whitesel, is why the church grew in the first place. Most of the time young, growing churches make a series of decisions based not upon careful planning and analysis, but rather upon necessity and intuition. Thus these decisions are not planned strategies, but strategies that often occur by accident, owing their genesis to circumstance. These unplanned strategic decisions are driven not by knowledge, but often simply by the church's environment. When that growth slows, these same churches begin to engage in more careful planning. The problem is that this planning so often ignores the considerations and decisions that led to the church's growth to begin with. The result is stagnation and eventual decline. In the plain, direct style that is his hallmark, Whitesel lays out where churches go wrong in their planning for growth and how they can correct themselves. He does so by looking at three related phenomena: first, the factors that cause initial growth; second, the erroneous decisions that lead to getting stuck on the plateau; and finally, corrective steps that churches can take to regain growth and vitality.

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