An overview of North America reveals many churches that are plateaued or declining and aging. This is especially true of churches in mainline denominations.

Is it because they belong to mainline denominations? No…and yes. Belonging to a mainline denomination is not a reason for decline. However, since many churches from denominations have a long heritage and history of traditions, styles, and methods that have become irrelevant, they are likely to decline for those reasons. There are many mainline denominational churches that have shed the nonessential styles, dress codes, architecture, and music that is common to their denominational history and kept the essential teachings. However, only a minority of these churches are growing. Why? One reason is the pressure many churches feel from those in the denomination who have confused nonessentials with essentials. They are caught in an irrelevant posture that makes it difficult to reach contemporary people.

This is excerpted from the May/June Church Doctor Report – Is There Hope for Your Church? Evidence from a Real Case Study.

Kent R. Hunter has consulted hundreds of churches in North America and taught thousands of church leaders in a dozen countries. His 30 books are widely read with translations in six languages. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit

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