Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Here is an outline I've worked on for a workbook for local churches, especially small, struggling churches, to help them become more effective and to experience renewal. If you think this is a project worth me pursing further, leave me a comment! I am committed to finding a way to help local churches, laity and pastors reach their communities. What do you think? I remain:

Lost in Grace,

CPR For the Church


CHURCHES: Been There, Done That!

Construction of No Hope UMC as a teaching model

1. A compilation of several of the churches I have served highlighting some

common personalities and problems. The names have been changed

to protect the pastor!


Prepare for tomorrow

Realize the potential

Embrace past success

Paint the picture:

Assess assets and ministries

Resource responsibly

Encourage constantly and consistently

I. Prepare: Quit Dozing, You Ain't Closing:

Step One, harnessing the tenacious spirit of survival within small churches.

A. Making the determination to survive. This year a UMC will close every 7 days. (get stat.)

People say they prefer small churches, You are wanted!

1. Overcoming objections [no money, opportunity, community growth, etc.]

2. Teaching "as if" thinking.

3. You have to believe it before you see it!

B. What do most small congregations have that they are intensely proud of? History!

1. Building on your positives.

1. Have a "Time Line Dinner" to hear and see the church's history.

2. Mine the older members for "glory days" stories.

C. Small churches tend to be survivors! Harness that instinct for forward movement.

D. How it worked at NO HOPE!

II. Realize the need--Re-Fired Instead of Re-tired!:

1 Step Two--Pray, Stay & Play: Renewing the relational flame.

A. Decide to Pray

1. Prayer Partner Resources

2. Never too old to pray!

3. Photo Ring of Prayer

B. Decide to Stay

C. Decide to Play


III. Embrace past successes--

Step Three--Standing on the Promises!

A. You've been through the fire [or flood, or tornado, or Depression, etc] with God's

help, and you can get through this.

IV. Paint the Picture--

Step Four--Vision: You have to see it to be it!

A. Vision Bearing

1. Preaching on hope and faithfulness--God is still a God who rescues.

2. Favorite texts: Moses at the Red Sea/Nehemiah Preparing to build the Wall/

Elijah at Mt. Carmel/ II Cor. Paul--determined/Joshua "me and my house"/

Sarah "is anything to difficult for God/ Hebrew 11--Hall of Fame of Faith/

Daniel--Shadrack, etc. or Lion's Den.

B. Vision Sharing

1. One with many

2. One with some

3. One with one


V. Assess Objectively-- Stepping Up to Reaching Out: Harness the Power of Big Days

A. Look Around--check out the spiritual temperature

B. Look Inside--check out the space

C. Look Outside--check out the "visitor appeal"

D. Look Beside--check out the smile quotient

VI. Resource Responsibly--There is Power in Those Pews: Plug those folks in!

A. Find out what they want to do, then let them do it.

B. Listen for the clues! "why I remember when we used to..."

C. Don't Be Invisible:

If I told you that you could double, probably even triple you average attendance for one service would you at least give it a try?

D. Carr's attendance after homecoming from 15 to 20.

1. H-coming attendance at 98, lost 78, no gained 5!

2. Perspective matters--keep the hope alive!

E. People say they prefer small churches and will come back for special days, USE THEM!

Easter Prayer Book Marks doubled worship attendance over previous Easter

Friend Day and Dinner--If you feed them, they'll come.

VII. Encourage Continuously: Live, Give, and Grow: Sharing your overcoming faith with your underachieving small church.

A. Live it: Walking and Talking faith, friendliness, and faithfulness.

1. Integrity is everything.

B. Give it: Giving away faith, friendliness, and faithfulness by example.

C. Grow it:

Plant it with love: they don't care how much you know till they know how

much you care!

Water it with encouragement: 1:1:1 Rule if <>

Shine on it with praise!



Recommit to



Evangelize with a

World focus


Local mission

IX. Closing the Door on Closing the Door


Write and tell your small church story. I love to hear about churches that move from despair to desire with God's help! Who knows, you story could be in my next book! I hope so!

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