One of professional roles these days is to serve as an Intentional Interim Pastor Specialist.  This involves more than preaching and visiting until the next pastor is on the job.  We are essentially church health specialists–looking at systems, identifying toxicities and strengths, helping the church focus on vision, and equipping leaders who alongside the next pastor can accomplish that vision.  You are trying to “turn the ship” into a more positive path.  I have also worked as a turnaround pastor and a coach for others.  Thom Rainer has identified six keys to helping churches turnaround that I have found to be incredibly true and I share them with you today.



by Thom Rainer

I love hearing stories of hope.

Instead of waiting for the stories to come to me, I recently interviewed 19 pastors whose churches had moved from struggling to breakout. All of the pastors had been in the church at least four years, and all of them had reached points of frustration.

Then their churches began to reverse their decline and stagnation.

None of the pastors I interviewed were new at their churches. None of the churches had relocated in recent years. And none of the communities in which the churches were located had grown dramatically.

So what happened at these churches?

 All of the pastors were careful to give glory to God. Most of them articulated that their stories were not ones of mere methodological devices.

But they did have six common themes worth noting.

1. They led the church to become highly intentional about starting new groups.

The fewest groups started by any one of the churches were four in a one-year period.

 These churches were serious about new groups, and most of them saw that, at least from a human perspective, as the primary source of turnaround growth.

2. They led the church to a culture of inviting people.

These pastors expressed amazement at how many people started coming to their churches simply because they were invited.

To be clear, this type of invitation was personal, from a member to someone else. It was not some type of major commercial marketing initiative.

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Some of the churches had a big event, “invite-a-friend day,” to kick off this new culture of inviting.

Read the rest at TURNAROUND ….


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