Many churches are at risk for decline and eventual closing. The at-risk condition of these churches manifests itself in some or all of the following ways:
  • Declining membership and worship attendance
  • Shortage of leaders leading to the recycling of the same leadership
  • Decline in giving
  • Difficulty paying the pastor
  • Delayed property maintenance
  • Reduced giving to mission
  • Increased frequency and intensity of conflict
  • Decreased connection with denomination

Many of these churches, though at risk, still have the resources with which to stabilize (some even to grow) and continue effective ministry. Sand Bur Consulting designs programs to help these churches gain stability and effectiveness for the next generation or to begin making intentional plans to close before they become an embarrassment to themselves and their denomination.

We work with denominational leadership to design educational and discernment processes designed to help these churches:

  1. Assess the realities of their own willingness and ability to make necessary changes to become more stable and effective.
  2. Make a conscious and realistic choice and develop the strategies necessary to either become more stable or close with purpose and effective witness.
  3. Identify particular mission and purpose beyond their own membership.
  4. Creatively re-structure their efforts to strengthen:
    • Outreach effectiveness
    • Leadership development
    • Financial support
    • Pastoral staffing
    • Nurture of members
    • Stewardship of physical resources
    • Management of systemic forces opposed to stability
  5. Create and maintain a continuing network of support.

We offer multi-year consultations to help churches make the systemic changes necessary to reduce risk or to make decisions about closing with dignity.

A Different Kind of Bread - Changed Pastoral Relationships