With H/T to Preludium for directing me to it, a superb article on (re)growing the church ... it's first application is to TEC, but I think, with a word or two changed, it is applicable to Aotearoa NZ. Here I offer a taste of a key sentence or two:
Reversing the Church’s Decline
Posted on: May 7, 2010
By Kevin Martin
"... Here are four proven areas that would help us dramatically turn around the decline in the Episcopal Church:
Develop younger lay and ordained leaders with an emphasis on reaching younger generations of unchurched people. ...
Start new congregations using proven innovative methods to reach newer and younger communities for the Church.New church planting continues to be the singularly most proven method for reaching the unchurched in North America. If we could learn from other churches how to move away from our Episcopal obsession with buildings, property, and parochial boundaries, we could liberate those new leaders to seek the lost — or those lost to the Church. The Church of England is doing very creative work in this area through Fresh Expressions, much of which can be translated into the North American scene.
Intentionally identify 10 to 20 percent of congregations that demonstrate a readiness for revitalization and give them the leadership and tools to accomplish this.The key word here is readiness. ...
Enact a plan to reach different ethnic populations, ...
Of course we should welcome all people, but we need to give ourselves permission to pick the low-hanging fruit first. ..."
The Very Rev. Kevin Martin is dean of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Dallas, Texas.