Here’s what’s wrong with being an ‘average’ church:
- The average church is declining by 9% a year (the problem with a decline of 9% a year is that you generally don’t notice it until year three and then it’s too late).*
- The average church is behind on budget and thus unable to say ‘yes’ to God-sized Kingdom opportunities should God send them their way (God probably won’t send them their way because it would be an injustice – think about it).*
- The average church is begging for money, begging for volunteers, begging for members and non-members to attend (begging may humble you but begging is not required for humility).*
- The average church is seeking a new pastor every 18 months (easier to find a new pastor than break the cycle of average).*
- The average church has developed systems to keep them and their pastor operating in average ways.*
*From Nelson Searcy’s Book: “Renegade Pastor”
The EXPONENTIAL Church Leader Live Coaching Network is a relationship-based coaching network for pastors seeking to create healthy churches and break through growth barriers. The heart of the network is found in a group of senior pastors meeting together monthly for training, coaching, and networking.
With the help of Systems Coaching, Stan Pegram and BMZ Church (the church that Stan pastors) have seen their average worship attendance go from less than 60 to almost 300 at the original two worship sites of BMZ Church. Our Sunday School program has gone from 15 kids from pre-K through High School age to around 130. And that’s not counting our children’s age-level worship experience at both campuses on Sunday mornings!
We are not bragging on us. We understand that it takes effort to partner with God in church work, but we know that it’s God that does the “Exponential” part!
We know that we don’t have all the answers and we don’t claim to, but we are striving every day to find ways to reach people in our community for Jesus Christ. There is nothing more important than for people to get into a relationship with Jesus and to live for Him. That’s why we do what we do…
The EXPONENTIAL Coaching Network will follow the outline of the 8 Healthy Systems of the Church as taught to Stan by Nelson Searcy and will be customized according to the specific needs of those accepted.
- In the early 1990s, about two out of 10 U.S. adults were churchless.
- In the early 2000s, it was three out of 10.
- Today (2017), the churchless make up nearly half of the adult population.
As most of you know, in the United States right now, we have a problem. The problem is that our population as a whole is becoming more and more churchless. Studies show that “…the number of churchless Americans has jumped by nearly one-third in just 20 years.” (Barna)
In 2006, Wisconsin United Methodist Churches averaged 41,927 individuals in worship across the state on any given Sunday/weekend (out of 90,282 members). In 2016, Wisconsin UMCs averaged 29,525 individuals in worship across the state on any given Sunday/weekend (out of 62,068 members). In ten short years, through our ability to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, we’ve lost almost 30,000 members and over 12,000 weekly worshippers.
I understand that these are not the things we like to think and talk about, but if we don’t, who will? Let me repeat in different wording: In the last 10 years, the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church has reduced the number of worshippers of Jesus in our churches by over 25%. Numerous churches and charges have reduced their pastors from full to part-time or from part-time to part-er-time.
To turn this trend around and start to change the culture that exists around our churches and beyond, there needs to be some solid leadership: Leadership willing to take the hard steps to turn local churches that have become clubs, back into churches. Leadership that is willing to take the hard steps to lead churches to change culture. Leadership that is invested in, not only their own future, but the future of the Church, locally and globally.
I’ve learned, as you have, that we can find out who someone really is by taking a look at their calendar and bank account. What we invest time and money in is what we truly believe in. Over the next year, I’m asking you to invest time and money into a coaching network that will, if used properly, help you personally and your church corporately.
What do others say after being part of Stan’s coaching network?
I’ve benefited from learning with a group of pastors who are in similar situations. It’s been great to talk through circumstances and situations and learn and be given hope
The process of assimilation of first time guests to regular attendees to members [has improved the most]. There has been a shift from asking who a guest is to finding out and introducing them to others.
Our church overall has become more in tune to their faith journey because of changes we’re implementing from Exponential Church Leader. From the leadership to students, we understand God’s will for our lives better than ever.
The greatest benefit from ECL Coaching has been the opportunity to learn with and be encouraged by one of the most impactful pastors for one of the [Wisconsin United Methodist Conferences] most vital churches. Stan continually makes you re-evaluate the way you do ministry for the most effective impact in your church.
The greatest benefit of coaching has been the “shot in the arm” that it has given me. It keeps me motivated and on track with providing positive change and over-all health to my churches. ECL has improved my life and church with its vast depth of knowledge and experience to draw from. It is my/our “go-to” for the “how-to’s” and “whys” for good ministry practices. Coaching has improved our assimilation process and hospitality 100%. We now have a well-oiled and smooth process for investing and inviting others to our church, welcoming them and following through with our guests in a positive way.
Personally, the greatest benefit of coaching is to know that I am with others who want to grow. [It] gives insight, energy, and motivation that is not routine ministry, but can be vibrant and exciting.
ECL has given me and the church direction for the future. It has given us hope for the future.
Through coaching, I have become aware of systems that can be immediately used to change the culture of my church. We have begun to look outwardly and positively toward our future as a ministry.
I was hesitant to register to ECL coaching in the beginning thinking that this would just be another academic orientation toward church growth or new church start. But what I found here indeed surprised me! I got the step by step practical tools to embark on new venture