Best Practices

by John-Peter Smit, published May 1, 2013 in The Presbyterian Record

Over the past six years, as the congregational development consultant for my synod, I have been in literally hundreds of churches. Many – maybe even most – of these congregations are in gradual decline and are searching for solutions to reverse direction and increase vitality and growth. Sadly, almost all are going about it in exactly the wrong way. While there is no simple answer to how to turn churches around, there are some markers that point us in the right direction; there are practices that can lead to a renewed sense of mission and purpose for Presbyterian churches.

Before we get there it is foundational that we understand three things:

  • The world has changed and, for the most part, we have not.
  • We are called to adaptive change, not technical change.
  • This cannot ever be about more bodies in the pews or dollars in the plate.

First, the world has changed. Most of us grew up in a world where church was seen as an integral part of Canadian life … Read More