Turnaround: How dying churches can find new life

For years, a handful of members of Hillview Baptist Church in Franklin, Tenn., prayed their pews would be filled with worshippers.

In early June, those prayers were finally answered, as more than 300 people gathered for a Sunday morning service.

But the pews were gone. So were the traditional hymns. And a new sign outside the church now bore the name “Conduit Church.”

A few weeks earlier, the congregation of Hillview had voted to merge with Conduit, a 4-year-old nondenominational church. At the time, Hillview had dwindled to less than two dozen members, and was on the verge of shutting down.

Instead of closing down, Hillview became one of a small but growing number of struggling evangelical congregations who’ve found new life by teaming up with a larger church. The mergers allow small churches to reinvent themselves and bigger ones to extend their reach.“They were tired,” said Darren Tyler, pastor of Conduit, “and they knew their strategy wasn’t working.”

Continue reading the full article at Religion News.com… 

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