An incarnational church functions as the “body of Christ” because it represents the presence of Christ in a community. – Comeback Churches, page 6
I believe that every church is planted with the desire to be an incarnational church. However, over time, many times churches get “stuck”. They operate in a way that is meaningful only to those already in the church while those in the community look on in bewilderment.
Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson did a study of 324 churches who were stuck and then made the turnaround to become “Comeback Churches”. These were churches that had experienced 5 years or more of plateau or decline and then experienced significant growth (10% growth each year) and started seeing at least one person baptized each year for every 35 members. So a 350 person church would see at least 10 people baptized each year. Their book, Comeback Churches, describes the common steps these 324 churches took to turn things around.
I feel that God is leading my family and me to an established church, rather than going down the path of planting another church. Most likely, it will be a church that has been plateaued or declining for the last few years. As such, I found this book to be a tremendous help! Not a page went by where I didn’t highlight some good insight. If you are at a church that needs to make a comeback, I highly recommend this book! Check it out!