Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too

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9780805445367: Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can, Too

Research shows that over time, most churches plateau and then eventually decline. Typically, they start strong and experience periods of growth, then stagnate and lose members. Since 1991, the North American population has increased by 15 percent while the number of "unchurched" people has increased by 92 percent. Large church houses that were filled in the 1950s and 60s now hold a fraction of their capacity.

To counter this trend, authors Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson surveyed 300 churches from across ten different denominations that recently achieved healthy evangelistic growth after a significant season of decline. What they have discovered is an exciting method of congregation reinvigoration that is shared in the new book entitled Comeback Churches.

Endorsements

“As a successful pastor, church planter, researcher, and advisor to thousands of churches, Ed Stetzer speaks from a wealth of experience with all kinds of churches. Now, in one volume, your church can benefit from his wisdom. This book is a winner!”
Dr. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life and The Purpose-Driven Church 

“First and foremost, it is biblical. Second, it is well researched. And third, it is immensely practical and applicable . . . this book should be in the hands of hundreds of thousands of pastors, staff, and church leaders. Simply stated, it is just that good.” —Thom S. Rainer, author of Simple Church, president/CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources

“Finally, a book of practical advice that is based on research. I have seen it both ways— endless research with little advice, or, much advice with little facts. This book strikes the balance with perfection.” —Elmer Towns, Dean of Liberty University

“This is the most helpful, practical book on church revitalization I’ve read this century.” —Leonard Sweet, Drew Theological School, George Fox University

Comeback Churches is more than a pep talk. It’s rooted in the ‘right stuff’ to bring a congregation out of the dismal into the vital.” —Jack W. Hayford, President, International Foursquare Churches, Chancellor, The King’s College and Seminary

“No one, to my knowledge, has done the hard research, presented the facts, and offered such sound advice as Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson… Comeback Churches is the number-one book on turning around declining and plateauing church ministry. —Gary L. McIntosh, D.Min., Ph.D., Biola University

“A refreshing book by authors who know how to make research exciting and instructional. Leaders and members of non-growing evangelical churches should read this book (it wouldn't hurt mainliners either)!” —Bill Easum, Easum, Bandy & Associates

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From the Inside Flap:

“We don’t want our church to die.”

The congregant’s concern matches reliable data that shows the North American Church is, in fact, shrinking. The general adult population of the United States may have grown by a predictable fifteen percent in recent years, but the number of unchurched adults has also, meanwhile, increased by a more shocking ninety-two percent ( source: The Barna Group).

Perhaps you’ve noticed: large church buildings that were filled in the 1950s and 60s now hold a fraction of their capacity. And recent research suggests that the perceived church growth of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s had more to do with a redistribution of believers than reaching the unchurched.

Overall, our churches are stagnant, in need of a return to healthy evangelistic growth.

Leading missiologist Ed Stetzer sheds new light on a crucial issue in Comeback Churches. Coauthored with pastor Mike Dodson, their exceptionally researched book reports on more than 300 formerly declining congregations across ten different denominations, ringing the bell about what it takes today to revitalize a weakened body of believers.

About the Author:

Ed Stetzer has served churches for 20 years, served as a seminary professor, and now is senior director of the Center for Missional Research at the North American Mission Board where he researchers churches and culture for more
effective ministry. He holds two masters and two doctoral degrees and has written dozens of articles and books including Breaking the Missional Code: Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community.

Mike Dodson has served as a pastor and church planter strategist for more than ten years. He lives with his wife and children in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

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