Studies show that churches that plant churches grow, themselves, says Philip Lotspeich, the Coordinator for the Office of Church Growth at the Presbyterian Church (USA). That’s why the Presbyterians are investing lots of time and money in church growth programs like New Beginnings and Starting New Churches.
Make no bones about it, says Philip, most PCUSA churches (and most mainlines) are ‘stuck’ and need a way to get off the plateau and grow again. In this interview Philip gives some sage advice from his extensive experience travelling the U.S., helping struggling churches grow again.
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Starting 1.000 new churches in the next 10 years is the goal for the PCUSA – which is why Philip Lotspeich spends so much time living out of a suitcase. In this interview Philip shares what he sees, and talks about how to get churches unstuck and growing again through church planting. Here are my notes from the interview:
Two Great Resources
The New Beginnings and Starting New Churches initiatives (see links above) are the products of much time, money, and experience. Philip is eager to share them with the wider church because they contain valuable insight into how to turn churches around.
If there’s a string of commonality between the ailing churches Philip visits, it’s a lag in the spiritual conviction and pursuit needed to fully engage in mission. Often, a congregation’s first step to new growth is deepening its spirituality.
The With-Me Principle
Growing leaders is a crucial task for any church, that’s why a leader needs to take people ‘with me’ to show them the ropes. Think about it next time you go to do even a routine task: who can I take with me?
About Philip Lotspeich
Philip Lotspeich was called to the position of coordinator for Church Growth in the Evangelism program area of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in February 2008. He was the organizing Pastor of Faithbridge Presbyterian Church in Frisco, Texas. He also was the pastor of a transformational congregation in Okmulgee, Okla. He is a graduate of Austin Seminary.
Books Philip Recommends
Transforming Church – Kevin Ford
Pursuing the Kingdom Potential of your Congregation – George Bullard
From Our Doorsteps – Rick Morse
Sponsors I Mentioned
Church Post - If you are looking to improve your church’s communications you’ve got to check out this great email platform. I’ve found it easy-to-use, reliable, and John, Debra and Kim are great to work with.
Wistia – If you’re still hosting your videos at YouTube or another ‘free’ video sharing site you know the drawbacks. Wistia helps me put out great looking videos and see who’s watching for how long. The Wistia staff is easy to work with and very professional.
The Grow My Church Store – Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.