Last week the Church of England published an excellent short report on the reasons churches grow and decline (mainly in numerical terms). You can read or download the report here, and here is a video about it from the Church Army, especially about Fresh Expressions of Church:
While not all of the research can be translated into the context of another denomination, such as Methodism (we don’t have too many official ‘cathedrals’), there are some clear challenges for us. For example: two inhibiting factors are an inconsistent approach to worship and a minister leading more than one congregation. The system of the Circuit Plan can lead to worship styles changing from week to week, and it is common for ministers to have pastoral charge of more than one church.
What signs of hope and challenge do you find in the report?