Over time, most churches eventually reach a plateau and then eventually decline. That is what all the research shows. Normally, they start healthy and strong with periods of growth. Then they stagnate and lose members. Statistics show that since 1991, the North American population has increased by 15 percent. During the same time, the number of “unchurched” people has increased by 92 percent. The large churches that were once packed with people in the 1950s and `60s, now hold a fraction of their capacity. Authors Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson surveyed 300 churches from across ten different denominations that recently achieved healthy evangelistic growth after a significant period of decline. They found the commonalities that helped these congregations reinvigorate themselves and reverse the trend of decline.
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