church growth

Membership growth happen when the number of new members exceeds the number of lost members, but there are several factors influencing both sides of that equation, writes Dr. David W. Scott. Read more

Local Church

Trying to be spectacular -- such as when Jesus was tempted to leap off the top of the temple -- puts the focus on human doings rather than on God, writes the Rev. Jason Valendy. Read more

Practicing Faith

The latest list of "top 25" United Methodist congregations lacks vital details that would make it valuable to all churches, not just those with large memberships, writes the Rev. Jeremy Smith. Read more

Jeremy Smith

Most membership growth has occurred in Africa, although there are bright spots in worship attendance in the United States. Read more

In the Church

What good are isolated pockets of church vitality if the overall system of connections is corrupted by distrust? asks the Rev. Jason Valendy. Read more


Fuzzy Church

Shutterstock Photo Courtesy of Frederick W. Schmidt

The question to ask isn't "what can the church do for me?" but instead looks more to what God wants us to do, writes the Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt. Read more

Local Church 1 Comments

Monocultures grow rapidly, but they aren't sustainable, whether you're growing cows or churches, writes the Rev. Jason Valendy. Read more


Discipleship Ministries' report on its Path 1 church planting program proposes to begin a new United Methodist congregation every day for the next four years. Read more

Local Church

Growing Churches Map

Illustration Courtesy of Hacking Christianity

When we lift up the growing churches in our denomination, what are we actually celebrating? The Rev. Jeremy Smith examines the data. Read more

Jeremy Smith 2 Comments


Photo Courtesy of Richard L. Bryant

The Rev. Richard Lowell Bryant debunks myths that Christians have about people who don't come to church. Read more

Local Church

The Rev. Christy Thomas couldn't help comparing many aspects of a recent first-time experience with many qualities recommended by church growth experts. Read more

Christy Thomas

Interest Poll

Courtesy of Sky McCracken

Getting its discipleship right – not merely gaining members, but forming followers of Jesus – will cure what ails The United Methodist Church, writes the Rev. Sky McCracken. Read more

Perspectives 1 Comments

Does the UMC's Path 1 requirements for church planting "throw older adults under the missional bus?" asks the Rev. Jeremy Smith. What's your view on rethinking the under-35 leadership strategy for new church starts? Read more

Jeremy Smith

Sycamore Creek UMC Video

YouTube Screen Capture

New churches that gather around a meal for worship and education hold out a vision for the future, writes the Rev. Jeremy Smith. Read more

Jeremy Smith

Trash Soccer Ball

Photo Courtesy of UMC LEAD

Churches don't need shiny new programs or old retreads, but genuine innovation using the resources they have on hand, writes seminarian Gabe Horton. Read more

Local Church

Draw a Church

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Smith

How to create and manage change that adapts to new situations, not how to get better at current techniques, is what Christian need from educational conferences today, asserts the Rev. Jeremy Smith. Read more

Local Church


Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Smith

Wikipedia's paradigm-shifting success as an online encyclopedia crafted by both experts and amateurs provides The United Methodist Church with a model to reshape its future, writes the Rev. Jeremy Smith. Read more

Local Church 1 Comments

Still Speaking

Image by Flickr user James Williamor. Used under Creative Commons License. Cropped from original.

The Rev. Robert Rynders explodes the idea that churches grow because of their stances on any social issue. Instead, he asserts that churches decline because they fail to create genuinely interesting and inspiring communities of faith. Read more

Local Church 1 Comments

Sent Ones

Photo Courtesy of The Liturgy Nerd

Seminarian Jarrod Johnston finds in his study of Acts that a holy life of prayer, praise and community was the force behind the numerical growth of the early Church. Read more



Photo Courtesy of John Partridge

It's a major mistake to think that we're building Christ's church according to our grandparents' vision, or even a vision of today, when we should be building the church for future generations, writes the Rev. John Partridge. Read more