worship services that mix traditional and contemporary styles with an emphasis on relevant sermons
pastors who work hard on mentorship and cultivation of the laity
an emphasis on effective lay leadership.
The Methodists concluded a study of 32,000 of their own congregations and noted that these four were true of every healthy congregation. After reading the article it was hard for me to feel like this was money well spent–if you ask any semi-solid, 25-45 year old believer what they want at church these four would seem to come up every time.
Two more interesting stats:
“One (problem) is clearly economic pressure of the cost of the infrastructure, which is increasing at a rate that is greater than the giving.”
“According to the data, it did not matter whether ministers held seminary degrees; whether pastoral ministry was a first or second career; or how long the minister had been engaged in pastoral ministry.”
Props to the Methodists for seeking to learn about their ministry culture. Hopefully it leads to redemptive changes.