When congregations are stuck
We often hear that two-thirds to three-fourths of American congregations are in decline or at a plateau with regard to membership. They are stuck where they are, immobilized by a flat growth line and in many cases by dwindling resources of time and money. Some of these churches are also stuck in old patterns of functioning and seldom think of changing unless some major event forces them to take a new look at their circumstances. Others are stuck in despair. Members are tired and discouraged. Perhaps their congregations are mere shadows of what they used to be. The "golden years" with the "golden pastor" have passed, and efforts to restore the glitter are futile. Or perhaps they've experienced conflict or trauma and are worn down. Or they're left without effective leadership, and are waiting for the ax of extinction to fall.
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