5 steps to save a dying church

5 steps to save a dying church

Pastor Lee Kricher of Amplify Church outlines a five-part strategy to turning around a modern, struggling faith community in his book, “For a New Generation.” Here’s a snapshot:

MONTHS 1-3

1) Adopt new mindset

Develop a coalition of core leaders. Take field trips to see what growing churches are doing. Engage as many people as possible in face-to-face conversations.

2) Identify essentials

Focus on one clear, concise, inspiring and useful vision statement, and state it during weekend services. End midweek services. Hire part-time youth director; invest in youth curriculum. Do more charity, but pare it to fewer causes.

MONTH 3 TO YEAR 1

3) Reduce distraction

Halt or reduce time and energy on programs not essential to the vision. Update signage and dilapidated infrastructure or furniture. Eliminate lengthy evangelism training programs to focus on small groups. End formal dress code. Stop political action activities.

YEAR 1 TO YEAR 2

4) Elevate standards

Update website. Form creative team of volunteers, including greeters, parking lot attendants and VIP team for first-time visitors. Hold auditions for worship team and increase rehearsal time to improve music quality.

YEAR 1 TO AFTER YEAR 2

5) Cultivate mentors

Focus weekend messages on need to reach next generation. Have every church leader mentor at least two people. Install young adults in visible leadership roles. Expand target audience to include visiting church leaders.

— Natasha Lindstrom