Artie Davis
Artie Davis (Facebook)

Almost every church will see seasons of growth and decline. But how do you get a church that seems to be coming to a stop to regain some forward momentum?

Here are a few points I have found helpful:

1. See clearly. You must see all the components that cause or have contributed to the slow down. This process of perception is vital. It will take some time, but you have to ask and record the answers to some hard questions.

  • Inside trends (music, giving, ages, preaching, kids, etc.)?
  • Outside trends (community, economic, culture change)?

2. Understand fully. All churches have a variety of tools at their disposal to accomplish their vision. But few understand how well those tools are performing.

  • List all the current tools your church has (Sunday adult, Sunday kids, music, outreach, mens, high school, preaching, whatever).
  • List two ways to definitively measure the impact each tool is contributing to the vision.
  • List the tool you need but currently don’t have and the tools you are using that are no longer as effective as they should be.

3. Move methodically. Establish a written plan. The final draft should be summarized easily on one side of a piece of paper. Calendar the initiatives on your plan. Communicate clearly the great opportunities available for others to join in. Search for and celebrate the slightest victory. Passion is contagious.

Is there another vital step you would include?

Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.

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