I was recently asked about books related to helping churches turn around -– churches that are stuck or in decline.
Also see If It Could Happen Here: Turning the Small-Membership Church Around by Jeffrey Patton (Abingdon, 2002). George Barna’s 1993 book Turnaround Churches: How to Overcome Barriers to Growth and Bring New Life to an Established Church (Regal) is still an excellent resource. Many, if not most, of the ideas and issues he describes are still in force today.
Two books that have good material but I recommend with caution: One of the most popular books on the topic is Leading Turnaround Churches by Gene Wood. However, Gene feels anyone can lead a turnaround, and I’m not sure that’s true, but it does provide a lot of good insight for pastors. Another is Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned around and Yours Can Too (B&H, 2007) by my friend Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson. It more or less concludes that turnarounds work best when you change the senior pastor.
My friend Gary McIntosh, author of several great books for church leaders, has a book on the topic being released September 2011 from Baker. The working title is There’s Hope for Your Church. Be on the lookout for that as well.
What other books do you know of that would help with turnarounds?