Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Michael Patrick Sanders


Black Church, Growth, Dialectic, Healthy, Life-cycle


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Many African American churches in America are experiencing a decline in attendance and participation. The typical church goes through a life-cycle that includes the church's birth, infancy, maturity, stagnation, and death. However, it is possible to create a rebirth process that will restart the life-cycle from the beginning. This thesis develops a strategic plan to initiate church rebirth and build momentum for the congregation. This project's research approach will include interviews with the leaders of a medium-size African American church in Dallas's suburbs. The project will also include survey questionnaires to congregants, former church members, and random subjects selected through social media to determine the church's perceptions and leadership trends. The research will also include a sociological review of the church’s dialectic characteristics to ascertain its community involvement. The project will generate value for the ministry by helping church leaders understand how to create momentum to build churches using the tools designed in this study.