The Grow My Church! Course is a preparation for change.
As you may know, the North American Church is going through a major transition. 80% of our churches are not growing. There are no easy answers, but there are steps congregations can take to work through this difficult time.
Grow My Church! is a self-assessment tool that gives congregations valuable tools to figure out what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what can be done to improve a church’s effectiveness. It is a low-cost alternative to expensive consultants. It is sensible, affordable, constructive, and aimed at helping churches move through this unprecedented time of cultural change.
For example, did you know…
- On an average weekend in 2005, just 17.5% of the U.S. population attended a Christian church service – down from 20.4% in 1990? And if this trend continues only 1 in 7 people will be attending church regularly come 2020?
- Since 1990 the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled and the number of people who describe themselves as atheist or agnostic has quadrupled?
- Two-thirds of Americans believe religion’s influence is waning – and the proportion of Americans who think religion, ‘can answer all or most of today’s problems’ is now at an historic low of 48%?
- In 2006 there were 91 million more Americans than in 1990, yet over this time frame church attendance remained flat?
Yes, the church in North America is in massive transition. Systemic membership declines have hit long-established churches from the conservative right to the liberal left, and even with the wave of Latino immigration, the Roman Catholic Church is closing and consolidating parishes. The boom years of post-war church attendance and influence are long gone.
Mainly outside factors are to blame, like the replacement of our culture’s Protestant ethos with that of secularism; economic changes that have put both spouses into the workplace where two paychecks now buy less than our father’s used to; a dwindling clergy pool from whom much more is expected; and consumer attitudes that have crept into the church, replacing virtues like sacrifice and duty with ideals like convenience and value.
Also, our churches are not blameless. Critics say we’ve lost our first love, of Christ and the Gospel, and we’ve embraced individualism and idolatry, favoring therapy and self-help over the rigorous demands of Christian discipleship. While millions of North Americans lament the loss of attendance and membership in their one-time, influential churches, for those of us who remain, it’s not so much because we craved the social position or prestige, it’s because we believe in the message of Jesus that values the assembly of believers – and that churches are good for us and good for the world.
A core conviction of Grow My Church! is that the Gospel is about saving lives and that the Church, on the whole and individually, plays an irreplaceable role in forming individuals, families, communities and nations. God seeks to change individual lives and to create a people – The Church, the community of the faithful, that is blessed to be a blessing and is part of God’s purpose for the salvation of the world.
We are passionate about renewing churches, believing congregations offer vast potential. We also believe the renewal of the North American church is urgent, vital, and integral to the accomplishing of Jesus’ mission in the world. However, in this unprecedented time of transition, many of our churches are trying to figure out essential questions of meaning, purpose, and mission. Our membership is down, and many of us suspect that’s more a symptom than a cause of what’s ailing us. That’s where Grow My Church! comes in.
The Grow My Church! Course is a chance for a small group, chosen by your church, to study the most important facets of community life, then to report back to your leadership with a plan for growth. If your church’s growth has slowed, you’re on the plateau, or even on life support Grow My Church! may be the jump-start you’re looking for.
Here's what others are saying about the Grow My Church! Course.
“A viable training program that has the ability to get churches growing again. Given the relentless decline of the mainline church over the past 40+ years, this is a most welcome and deeply needed resource. I commend it to all who want to see the church become once again all it is meant to be.” Richard Peace Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA
“A valuable tool for churches who want to grow not only in numbers bu t in faith as well, the course is based on sound biblical and theological principles. Engaging, insightful, and thought-provoking now’s the time to bring The Grow My Church! Course to your church!” The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Geitz Author, Fireweed Evangelism and Entertaining Angels
Anthony Robinson likes The Grow My Church! Course because of its accessibility and pedagogy. “Finally, a course that helps congregations engage in the crucial conversations that we always seem to find ways to avoid. The Grow My Church! Course is serious, insightful, but also fun. Anthony B. Robinson, author, teacher, and congregational development expert
“In churches all over the country, the number one concern is how to attract and retain new members. Grow My Church offers a clear, effective and accessible process for doing just that. If you are serious about making disciples for Jesus Christ, Grow My Church! is the right tool for the right time.” Kristine Miller, CFRE Horizons Stewardship Consultants