‘If congregations can change, they can grow’

In his blog post “Going Electric,” CERG Regional Growth Development Consultant Mark Bernstein writes about the findings of the Cooperative Congregational Studies partnership about congregational growth. His conclusion: “If congregations can change, they can grow.” Among the findings in the survey of 11,000 congregations are that growth is more likely among: younger congregations, those that use multiple methods to follow up with visitors, and those that think of themselves as different from other congregations in their area. [That’d be us.]

Bernstein quotes the Rev. Dan Dick, director of Connectional Ministries for the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church:

Turnaround churches almost all agree: They knew what they needed to do before they did it. For every declining church you can name, there is a growing one just like it in most ways. The key difference? Declining churches expect their answer to come from the outside; growing churches take responsibility for their own solutions.