Churches, like people, have life cycles. Congregations, like people, begin with enthusiasm and vitality, then they begin to mature and settle down, they enter into the comfort of old age, and eventually they die. None of the people or churches in the New Testament are still alive. (Except, of course, the Risen Christ!)

This cycle is inevitable but the progress to the next stage is not. Once a congregation sees itself moving toward thecomfort of old age, it is possible to stave off demise. Resurrection life (not resuscitated life) is God's promise to the Church and each congregation has the opportunity to grasp onto life and pursue ministry and mission in a lively, new born way.

During the interim period, my task is to help you see yourselves anew. Even when things are going well, the way in which programs are carried can be fine-tuned or discarded. For plants to flourish they have to be pruned. Dead growth must be cut off so the whole plant can thrive.

By reassessing their identity a congregation is living into Resurrection hope, and by claiming a new identity the congregation says "Yes" to new life and "No" to certain demise. For by claiming and living a new identity, they open themselves to God's power of hope and new life.

Abram became Abraham... Sarai became Sarah... Jacob became Israel... Saul became Paul... and Peter became Cephas. With these new identities they helped God's purposes become realities in their time and for the world.