How Older Churches Can Have a Great Future
Being reborn (or born again) is the most powerful theme in the Gospel message and in the Bible, and for believers, the most powerful thing in human history. And it can be a part of a church’s history and life too.
It is a normal thing for a church to have a life span of 70-80 years, even though the reality of church life cycles is not often discussed, acknowledged, and planned for. (cf. churches dying with dignity and recycling, and also see Geoff Surratt’s excellent overview of the 5 stages of church life cycle in his free eBook Measuring the Orchard; another topic that’s not often factored into church leadership decisions is the dynamics of different church sizes). In other words, a local church’s life span typically tracks along with the human life span.
With this reality clearly in mind, this can also be an powerful opportunity for a church’s history to be the foundation for birthing a new church for another generation. To ignore this reality for an older and declining church could be a future that literally loses ground to unspiritual purposes, i.e. my pinboard of ex-church buildings.
Liquid Church created the “Rebirth Your Church” documentary in hopes of inspiring church leaders to imagine a new future for their ministry. Watch this 15-minute documentary to witness a 191-year old congregation reborn to reach the next generation.
Aside: in my recent presentation, How the Church can be Unleashed for the Next Generation (also in video format), I tell the stories of 3 Asian-American/multi-ethnic churches that have transitioned from one generation to another.