The church in the United States is in serious trouble. Eighty percent of American churches have either plateaued or are in decline. Although there are some churches which are notable exceptions to this dismal statistic, the church as a whole is in serious trouble. This decline is even more ominous when one takes into consideration that the church growth movement has written millions of pages and spent billions of dollars in the past twenty years in a seemingly fruitless effort to stem it. There are established churches, however, that have reversed this apparently inexorable decline and have experienced spiritual renewal.
The question this project intends to answer is this: What is the role of pastoral leadership in bringing spiritual renewal to stagnating or declining churches among the Christian Churches/churches of Christ in the Pacific Northwest? This project will examine five renewal churches and compare them to similar churches that are still in a state of stagnation or decline. In making this comparison I will not only identify leadership traits common to renewal churches, but I will also identify what distinguishes them from plateaued or stagnating churches.