“And the Church must be forever building
And always decaying,
And always being restored.” (T.S. Eliot, “The Rock”)
Congregations go through predictable stages in their history. There is a dynamic birth stage as a new congregation is planted. Then there are later seasons in which a congregation is at a point of vital growth and flourishing. Some aspects of ministry flow more easily in those seasons, as often attendance and giving are increasing. But eventually a congregation arrives at a plateau where growth slows and a congregation finds a rhythm and stability. After a plateau another season of growth can occur, but more often a period of decline appears. At those points of decline the congregation needs to be helped back toward vitality. This course examines both the reasons for decline and malaise in congregations, and what solutions are possible to get those congregations back to flourishing. To help a complex organization like a local congregation come back toward a place of flourishing comprises many different disciplines. There is a whole organic system to engage and seek to restore. The reasons for decline are complex and so are the reasons for growth. A growing field of literature is devoted to this place in the life of a congregation. Leadership skills are especially important in this aspect of revitalizing a congregation.
This course is offered in partnership with Lifetree, TABCOM School of Ministry and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. It will meet 6-9pm Friday night, and 9am-5pm Saturday on September 25th-26th and November 6th-7th, 2020.
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