Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Lucien Fortier


church decline, church membership, newcomers, revitalization, systematic strategy




American churches are in decline, with attendance dropping below 50 percent for the first time in 2021. The need for revitalization cannot be overstated or underestimated. Luke's historical narrative in Acts 2:42-44 is an ecumenical prescription for a healthy, growing church today. This project seeks to determine the theoretical structure and biblical foundation necessary for churches to achieve healthy, sustainable growth. This study aims to develop and initiate a strategy with biblical praxis that will guide church attenders to an urban church in Columbus, Georgia, through a process to become committed church members. The aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of six strategic steps designed to turn newcomers to the church into regular attenders into members through assimilation. The intent is to discover a biblical approach to help this church and other churches with a similar context grow spiritually, numerically, and healthily. Therefore, this research project examines the currently available literature on church growth, church health, and congregational systems to discover models and practices that might help this church become more effective in reaching the lost for Jesus Christ and keeping them. The church will leverage a systematic approach that relies on the weekend service to implement six steps that are believed to meet or exceed the expectations of newcomers when they visit. With an effective follow-up and qualitative questionnaire, the church seeks to discover the level of satisfaction churchgoers have toward implementing the church's systems approach and use their feedback to change, modify, or adjust the current strategy.

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Christianity Commons