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Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can Too [Hardcover]

By Ed Stetzer (Author) & Mike Dodson (Author)
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Item description for Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can Too by Ed Stetzer & Mike Dodson...

Church growth experts Stetzer and Dodson explain why most congregations plateau and then eventually decline, and they reveal how to revive a body of believers. Readers can learn the importance of lighting a spiritual fire, intentional evangelism, making disciples, forming small groups, and then watch pews fill up again. (Church Life)

Publishers Description
Research shows that over time, most churches plateau and then eventually decline. Typically, they start strong and experience periods of growth, then stagnate and lose members. Since 1991, the North American population has increased by 15 percent while the number of "unchurched" people has increased by 92 percent. Large church houses that were filled in the 1950s and 60s now hold a fraction of their capacity.

To counter this trend, authors Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson surveyed 300 churches from across ten different denominations that recently achieved healthy evangelistic growth after a significant season of decline. What they have discovered is an exciting method of congregation reinvigoration that is shared in the new book entitled "Comeback Churches."
"As a successful pastor, church planter, researcher, and advisor to thousands of churches, Ed Stetzer speaks from a wealth of experience with all kinds of churches. Now, in one volume, your church can benefit from his wisdom. This book is a winner "
--Dr. Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose-Driven Life "and" The Purpose-Driven Church"
"First and foremost, it is biblical. Second, it is well researched. And third, it is immensely practical and applicable . . . this book should be in the hands of hundreds of thousands of pastors, staff, and church leaders. Simply stated, it is just that good." --Thom S. Rainer, author of "Simple"" Church," president/CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources
"Finally, a book of practical advice that is based on research. I have seen it both ways-- endless research with little advice, or, much advice with little facts. This book strikes the balance with perfection." --Elmer Towns, Dean of Liberty University
"This is the most helpful, practical book on church revitalization I've read this century." --Leonard Sweet, Drew Theological School, George Fox University
""Comeback Churches "is more than a pep talk. It's rooted in the 'right stuff' to bring a congregation out of the dismal into the vital." --Jack W. Hayford, President, International Foursquare Churches, Chancellor, The King's College and Seminary
"No one, to my knowledge, has done the hard research, presented the facts, and offered such sound advice as Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson... "Comeback Churches" is the number-one book on turning around declining and plateauing church ministry. --Gary L. McIntosh, D.Min., Ph.D., Biola University
"A refreshing book by authors who know how to make research exciting and instructional. Leaders and members of non-growing evangelical churches should read this book (it wouldn't hurt mainliners either) " --Bill Easum, Easum, Bandy & Associates

Citations And Professional Reviews
Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned Around and Yours Can Too by Ed Stetzer & Mike Dodson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Retailing - 05/21/2007 page 21

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Item Specifications...

Studio: B&H Books
Pages   226
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.31" Width: 5.93" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Broadman And Holman
ISBN  0805445366  
ISBN13  9780805445367  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ed Stetzer & Mike Dodson

Ed Stetzer Ed Stetzer is the President of LifeWay Research, a prolific author, and well-known conference and seminar leader. Stetzer has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books.

Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 400,000 individuals each week. Stetzer is also Executive Editor of Facts & Trends Magazine, a Christian leadership magazine with a circulation of more than 70,000 readers.

Stetzer serves as Visiting Professor of Research and Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Visiting Research Professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has taught at many other colleges and seminaries.

He also serves as Lead Pastor of Grace Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., a congregation he planted in 2011.

Ed Stetzer currently resides in Gallatin.

Ed Stetzer has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Leadership Networks

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Church Administration
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Comeback Churches?

Excellent service and book  Mar 11, 2010
After being notified by the first seller that they could not complete my order for this book I quickly re-ordered from this seller. Received the book in less than a week and the book was perfect, as described. Thanks.
Awesome Read  Feb 8, 2010
You will gain a renewed strength to hang in there when the going gets tough! If your church is in need of a major overhaul, this is the book to get it started.
Comeback Churches  Oct 1, 2009
I have found Comeback Churches to be both challenging and encouraging in my desire to strengthen my church and myself. It has helped me to see many of my weaknesses and how they contribute to my church's own struggles.
Must Read for Pastors  Sep 25, 2009
I think this book is a must read for all pastors who are serious about turning around American churches. Great ideas on how to go about doing just that are in the book. I highly recommend!
An Answer to Churches that are Stuck on a Plateau  Sep 12, 2009
What a fascinating title for a book. This book is a great book for both church planters and those who are struggling with a church that has reached a plateau or is declining. Here are some of the great qualities of this book:
1. It puts a priority on churches being biblical before it deals with revitalization. On pages 1-4 the authors give six criteria that are important in the Word of God.
2. It emphasizes also churches being "missional" in the right sense--"missional churches are biblically faithful and culturally relevant." (8)
3. It does not forget to also emphasize that churches should be "spiritual" and therefore healthy. There is a great emphasis on prayer as the first key to being a revitalized church. "Comeback leaders know that our Lord considers commitment to Him and His desires an indispensable ingredient to growing spiritually and numerically." (12).
Stetzer and Dodson list what they call a "Dirty Baker's Dozen" or thirteen reasons why churches plateau or decline. I have worked through a study on this for seminars on church planting and multiplication called, "Growth Ceilings in Churches -What they are, Why they are Important, Where they are, Why they Occur and What to do about them."

Church planters and those who want to see churches revitalized can learn the importance of what Stetzer and Dodson call being "indigenous." They explain:

Being indigenous is harder than it sounds, because almost all declining churches already have a culture. In most cases, the existing church culture is from a former era that is only meaningful to those in the church, not those in the community. We believe that the gospel is best lived out when churches are firmly rooted in their surrounding community's culture. They are driven by Scripture, but people from the community see people like them--just radically different in the way they live. (6).

This book is also full of some helpful ideas such as, "Comeback pastors and their best leaders needed to focus their time on two groups: leaders and the lost." (216).

As it has been said, "readers are not necessarily leaders but leaders must be readers." That is certainly true of a church planter. So read in order to lead more effectively.


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