Church Restart vs. Relocation

What’s Up w Pastor Todd 10/16/18

This past weekend over 20 FCC members attended a retreat led by Rev. Jim Griffith of Griffith Coaching and Rev. Paul Nickerson of Nickerson Coaching. Energy was great. We learned a lot. Over the next several weeks, leadership will be summarizing and sharing our learnings and sketching out a plan for an FCC church restart. For me, one important learning was the distinction between restart and relocation.

The definition of church restart is “An effort by a long-declining church in which the church chooses a strategic death so that a new church can be launched in its place, using its existing members and assets.  A restart is characterized by a rapid shift in vision, culture and ministry approach with the purpose of reaching a new target group in its community. A restart combines the approach of church planting with the pastoral work of leading change.”

Restart is a strategic effort to leap as a congregation for the death side of the bell curve (see diagram below) to the birth side of the bell curve. It’s not primarily about changing location, although it can involve that. It’s primarily about changing who we are as a congregation. This is very different from relocation, which is simply changing venues with no accompanying effort to change vision, culture, and ministry approach. Relocation will simply keep us on the same death trajectory, just in a different place, which, to me, seems pointless. That’s why church leadership is engaged in a process of restart.

Church Restart

Author: toddyonkman

I am a husband, father, author, and Designated Term Transitional Pastor of First Church of Christ in Saybrook (CT).

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