The Autopsy of a Deceased Church: My Church Case Study
I am currently a member of as well as executive leader at Life through the Word Ministry International Inc. I chose to conduct a case study on my church mainly because I have some major concerns of my own along with other members who have expressed similar concerns about church growth, why people are leaving, and the lack of experiencing an atmosphere of Holy encounter during worship services.
Life through the Word Ministry International Inc. has been in existence since 2005 and we recently celebrated our 8th Annual Pastors and Church Anniversary October, 2013. The church was founded by Pastors Robert J. Stanford (Senior Pastor) and Theresa G. Stanford (Co-Pastor) as they met regularly in their home with 7 friends and family who will later become the first members of the church. The ministry was blessed with locating a building space to call its home temporarily until something bigger would come about. With just the Pastors and those 7 members, the membership grew to a number of 30 members. The size of the facility could not accommodate the size of the members and they sought a new location with a larger facility (warehouse) in 2008 to present. After a celebratory festive of entering their new facility, the church guests and member were in full attendance as 50 people became new members. As the membership grew in large proportion, the Pastors felt the need to introduce various ministries to meet the needs of those members present and train them on how to reach other new members.
The church various ministries were:
Music and Fine Arts – Which included the praise team of singers, musicians, praise dancers, and mime dancers.
Evangelism Explosion – Which included a team of members who canvased the surrounding community seeking residents who did not have a church home and to those who lived very far away from their own church that prevented from regular attendance?
New Member and Guest Reception.
New Member Class – Taught during the regular Sunday morning acclimating new members to doctrine of the church and introduced them to the various other ministries.
Sunday school – A Sunday morning class for both adults and youth to learn more from the Bible through a series of relevant topics discussed.
Executive Ministerial Board – Consisted of several men and women who are members of the church served as the governing board for operating the church.
As the membership grew other ministries were now introduced making the church the ideal place to be if you truly wanted to experience the move of God in miraculous ways. The people began to attend, members were inviting other people (i.e., co-workers, friends, neighbors) to attend and experience the miraculous move of God in the lives of the people and the excellence environment conducive for anyone searching for a church home for their family and friends to come and worship.
The Pastors ordained leaders to conduct the various ministries that were made available to the members, guests, and friends interested in participating in ministry. Life through the Word Ministry International Inc. partnered with Sanctuary of Faith & Glory Churches under the guidance of Chief Apostle Felton O. Best of Windsor, Connecticut in 2010 as their covenant church. The church began to partner with other churches under the tutelage of Chief Apostle Best and later Pastor Robert J. Stanford became the 2nd in command Apostle. We were introduced to various conferences, workshops, leadership seminars, which were all indicative of building our ministry from 85 members to a total of 400 plus members. We were adding to the church just about every Sunday new members and the attendance were constant and the congregation was enthused.
Then something happened that took a turn for the worst. We started to watch members leave the church and the morale dropped tremendously. It appeared the…