Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life Cycle of a Church or Christian Movement

Remember: The curve is common but not inevitable. Both growth and decline can be stopped at any time.

1. Birth- Begins with a founder and/or founding group who burns with passion to make a difference in the lives of others.
2. Infancy - Group expands it's external focus and almost exclusively works to bring others into the cause.
3. Adolescence - Programs and services are added to take the strain off the Founder and founding group.
4. Prime - ministry and action is being done through a variety of people. The movement is "in the zone." Ephesians 4.
5. Maturity - Movement/church begins to lose momentum and begins to develop an "our way of doing things." Subtly becomes more inwardly (us) focused.
6. Aristocracy - Momentum takes an even greater hit, marked by less energy and less effectiveness. Status quo is maintained. Cliques form. Turf is protected.
7. Bureaucracy - The birth story and accompanying passion are forgotten. The activity of administration substitutes the accomplishment of the real mission. Disgruntled members begin to look for someone to blame for ineffectiveness.
8. Death - The skeleton is all that remains. Survival continues until the door is locked for the last time.

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