Positioning a church for evangelism goes far beyond implementing a program or hiring additional staff. Ultimately, it takes a corporate change of heart.
—Calvin C. Ratz
An ad by the Canadian investment firm Nesbitt Thompson featured this line: "Anyone can ride a bull, but it takes discipline to dance with a bear."
That's true, as any investor knows. When a "bull market" is surging ahead, as it was through the early 1980s, everyone makes money. But when it's a declining "bear market," that's not the case.
Pastoring has its equivalent. A friend, who'd never experienced significant growth in any of the churches he'd pastored, has suddenly enjoyed a spurt of numerical growth. "I'm not doing anything different," he claims, "but all of a sudden our congregation is expanding rapidly." That pastor is riding a bull market.
The fact is, several other churches in his community are experiencing similar growth. The demographics of his community, the subculture of his congregation, and an influx of transferees ...1