Twelve Keys to an Effective Church

Twelve Keys to an Effective Church

by Kennon L. Callahan
     
 

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A proven program for church renewal that has brought new vitality to thousands of congregations.Why do some churches thrive and play vital roles in their communities while others struggle to retain members and stay financially sound? How can churches today build on their strengths as they move forward to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century'In this

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Overview

A proven program for church renewal that has brought new vitality to thousands of congregations.Why do some churches thrive and play vital roles in their communities while others struggle to retain members and stay financially sound? How can churches today build on their strengths as they move forward to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century'In this groundbreaking study, Kennon Callahan identifies the twelve essential characteristics of successful, growing churches and offers all congregations a way to unlock their potential for effective ministry. These twelve keys to an effective church include** a concrete, well-defined mission** dynamic worship** small groups that build community** a few strong, well-selected programs and activities** solid financial resourcesCallahan examines each of the twelve keys in depth. And he provides solid, practical guidelines and tools to help any church assess itself in each key area, correct deficiencies, build on existing strengths, and track its overall progress. The Twelve Keys program balances practical planning with theological understanding to help churches function more effectively as they seek to grow and better serve their members.Twelve Keys to an Effective Church is regarded as the most useful and comprehensive long-range planning resource available. Since it was first published in 1983, hundreds of thousands of churches have used this program to strengthen and grow their congregations. Drawing on nearly forty years of consulting experience with churches of all sizes and denominations—mainline and evangelical—Callahan has provided a tested and proven approach to church renewal that will bring new vitality to congregations of the twenty-first century."A valuable contribution to the task of congregational long-range planning." —The Christian Century

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The church has had to wait too long for this indispensable material. Dr. Callahan's careful attention to detail and practical church programming is balanced by a depth of theological understanding and an earnest desire to help the church move from maintenance to mission. This book will give direction to the church for many years to come." —George Morris, Institute for World Evangelism

"[An] excellent book for churches that are contemplating renewal.... [Callahan] understands the need for objective, measurable, and workable methods." —The Presbyterian Survey

"Callahan has produced a book...which should, for many years, be an effective guide for local congregations.... The book is realistic and does not place upon a congregation impossible demands, but holds to realistic hopes.... This book is useful for pastors and employed staff. It can be used by the various organizations within the church.... Each organization would do well to read [it]." —Perkins Journal

"This very readable book offers a step-by-step, how-to approach to its subject.... Clear, concise,...[it] must certainly be judged a valuable contribution to the task of congregational long-range planning." —The Christian Century

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787938710
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/28/1997
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.67(w) x 8.39(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Steering Committee Preparation


Refer to pages 11-12 in Twelve Keys: The Leaders' Guide for a suggested schedule for using this Twelve Keys: Tie Planning Workbook in six planning sessions.

The following information is best developed by the Long-range Planning Steering Committee prior to the planning sessions of the larger Long-range Planning Committee. See pages 57-64 in Twelve Keys: The Leaders' Guide for a fuller discussion of the responsibilities of the Long-range Planning Steering Committee and the Long-range Planning Committee.

    This information can be shared during the appropriate planning session by means of a handout, overhead transparency, or blackboard. Each person can easily copy the information into their own personal planning workbook.

    This procedure will greatly expedite your planning sessions and help you to focus best on those central characteristics important for your church's future.


Stage One Page
Table 1.
Church statistics for key indicators of stature
8
Graph 1.
Your percentile rankings
9

Stage Two
Step 1.
Your church's current numbers
10
Step 2.
Ratio of constituents and persons served in
mission to members 
10
Table 2.
Church Types and Ratios
11
Formula 1.
Maximum Mission Potential
12

Stage Three
Step 1.
Pastoral and Lay Visitation Information
18
Formula 2.
Maximum Comfortably Filled Seating Capacity
20
Step 2.
Approximate number of significant relational
groups your church would best have 
22
Step 3.
A sufficient number of new groups
23
Formula 3.
Available church parking and its value
30
Step 1.
Church's average worship attendance, membership,
and total income for past three years 
33
Step 2.
Per capita income from people attending
worship/membership 
33


Stage One


Develop a Realistic Assessment of Your Church's Present Standing and Stature


Refer to page xxiii in Twelve Keys to an Effective Church for fuller discussion of the assessment of church standing and stature.


To develop a long-range plan, it is important that you first develop an accurate, realistic assessment of your present standing and stature as a local church in comparison with other congregations. The four best indications of this standing and stature are your average attendance at worship services, average attendance at church school, church school enrollment, and church membership.


    Step 1. Circle your church's current statistics and the corresponding percentage ranking for each of the four categories in Table 1. The percentage rankings indicate how your church is doing in relation to other churches. For example, if your current average attendance at worship services was 149, you would circle the numbers 100-149 in the far left column of Table 1, and you would circle the percentage 81.6 in the column beside those numbers. The 81.6 means that of all churches, 81.6 percent have fewer people in worship on an average Sunday than you do. That percentage would be similar for many other Protestant denominations as well.

Table 1. Church Statistics for Key Indicators of Stature

Average
Attendance
at Worship
Services
Total % of
Churches
Average
Attendance at
Church School
Total % of
Church Schools
Church School
Enrollment
Total % of
Church Schools
Church
Membership
Total % of
Churches

1000 +
750-999
500-749
350-499
200-349
150-199
100-149
75-99
50-74
35-49
20-34
1-19

99.7 +
99.6
99.3
98.4
96.3
88.6
81.6
69.1
57.5
40.5
26.7
10.9

500 +
300-499
200-299
150-199
125-149
100-124
75-99
50-74
35-49
25-34
15-24
1-14

99.9 +
99.8
98.8
96.5
93.2
90.0
85.0
75.6
58.3
41.3
27.2
11.7

1000 +
750-999
500-749
400-499
300-399
250-299
200-249
150-199
100-149
75-99
50-74
25-49
1-24

99.5 +
99.4
98.9
97.4
95.9
93.0
90.4
86.3
78.8
64.6
52.3
35.2
12.7

3000 +
2000-2999
1500-1999
1000-1499
750-999
500-749
300-499
200-299
100-199
50-99
1-49

99.9 +
99.9
99.4
98.6
96.3
93.4
87.4
76.2
64.6
41.4
19.1

Source: Department of Statistics, General Council on Finance and Administration of the United Methodist Church. Given a slight variation in percentiles, these figures are essentially the same for many Protestant denominations.


Excerpted from TWELVE KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE CHURCH by KENNON L. CALLAHAN. Copyright © 1990 by Kennon L. Callahan. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Meet the Author

KENNON L. CALLAHAN, — researcher, professor, and pastor — is one of today's most sought-after church consultants. He has worked with thousands of congregations around the world and has helped tens of thousands of church leaders and pastors through his dynamic workshops and seminars. Author of many books, he is best known for his groundbreaking study Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, which has formed the basis for the Mission Growth Movement, a widely acclaimed program for church renewal. Callahan has earned the B.A., M.Div., S.T.M., and Ph.D. degrees. His doctorate is in Systematic Theology. He has served both rural and urban congregations in Ohio, Texas, and Georgia and taught for many years at Emory University. Ken and his wife of over forty years, Julie, have two children, Ken and Mike, and three grandchildren, Blake, Mason, and Brice. They enjoy the outdoors, hiking, horseback riding, and camping.

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