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A Controlled Burn

Leading change is a dangerous, consuming calling.

Some people thrive on danger: Navy Seals, secret service agents, storm chasers. Add Steve Goodwin to the list. Like a firefighter who runs into a burning building while everyone else is fleeing, this is a pastor who seeks out failing congregations. He has led two Lutheran churches to major reform and now assists aspiring turnaround pastors through his ministry, www.reforminghope.com. He is author of Catching the Next Wave: Leadership Strategies for Turnaround Congregations (Augsburg Fortress, 1996).

Why do you focus on struggling churches?

Surveys show that 85 percent of our churches have stagnated in attendance or are in active decline. My passion is to help congregations get past that.

A lot of pastors are not making progress because they just don't have the skills to reform their churches. So they experience conflict, burn out, frustration, and deep anguish.

I see it all over.

Why do so many pastors lack the skills to reform their churches?

It requires a whole different set of skills than ...

May/June
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