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...
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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.
"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
Ed Stetzer (D.Min., Beeson Divinity School; Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) has planted churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Georgia and transitioned declining churches in Indiana and Georgia. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents. Ed served for three years as a seminary professor at the Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and has taught at fifteen other seminaries. He is currently the Director of Lifeway Research and Lifeway's Missiologist in Residence.
He has written the following books: Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age (2003), Perimeters of Light: Biblical Boundaries for the Emerging Church (with Elmer Towns, 2004),Strategic Outreach (with Eric Ramsey, 2005),Breaking the Missional Code (with David Putman, 2006), Planting Missional Churches (2006), Comeback Churches (with Mike Dodson, 2007), 11 Innovations in the Local Church (with Elmer Towns and Warren Bird, 2007), and most recently Lost and Found (Broadman), 2009).
Koorong -Editorial Review.
Mike Dodson coauthored "Comeback Churches" with Ed Stetzer, has served as a pastor and church strategist for more than ten years, and holds a Doctor of Missiology degree. He lives with his wife and children in Meadville, Pennsylvania. ý