Quick Fixes to Congregational Renewal: What the Data Really Says

In his recent blog post for the Huffington Post, Charles Redfern noted, “Sunday attendance in mainline churches is dropping fast…Turnout in the United Church of Christ has dropped below a million; the Episcopal Church estimates its population at 1.8 million, down from three million in the 1960s; membership in the Presbyterian Church, USA, fell by 46 percent from 1965 to 2005 and the United Methodists have lost 4.5 million in their American churches since 1964. Four thousand churches close each ear and 3,500 people leave the Church each day.”

You hear statistics like these more and more, and you want to know what this means for your congregation. Should you be worried? Is there an easy fix?

Central Seminary has heard your questions and wants to help. As a part of a new Leadership Series to address the issues that our churches face today, Dr. Jeff Woods led a conversation on this topic on October 6, 2016.

Over the last few decades, numerous congregations have made changes to their worship services, their discipleship emphases, their welcoming practices and their missional outreach activities. Both the desired outcomes and consequences of these attempts have been widely varied. This presentation will reveal the results of these changes as well as address a more holistic approach to congregational health.


Lecture Video




jeff-woods-800x0Dr. Jeff Woods, Associate General Secretary for Regional Ministries, ABC-USA, and Doctor of Ministry Faculty for Central Seminary

Dr. Woods has served as an internal and external consultant for the past thirty years working primarily with nonprofit, religious, and educational institutions. He earned his B.S. from Purdue University in Management and Statistics in 1980, an MDiv from SBTS in 1983, and his Ph.D from Indiana University in 1987 majoring in both higher education administration and educational inquiry methodology.

As a speaker, consultant, and resource person, he has worked with groups in nearly every state and province in North America as well as internationally. He has received research grants and worked on a variety of study groups and think tanks, including his recent service on the Pulpit and Pew Project, a ten million dollar Lilly Endowment sponsored research project.

Also an author, his formal publications include seven books and over thirty articles in both popular and refereed journals in the areas of leadership and organizational development, as well as research design and methods. Within the Academy, he has lectured and taught a wide range of courses at Universities and Seminaries both nationally and internationally.