Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Dottie Escobedo-Frank, DMin

Second Advisor

Bill Gibson, DMin

Third Advisor

Dan Lioy, PhD


This dissertation addresses the topic of church revitalization in United Methodist churches that are experiencing prolonged seasons of stagnation and decline. In particular, it examines various revitalization models so as to determine how well they address the issues related to cost and sustainability. Section 1 describes the state of decline in mainline church attendance over the past 60 years and in particular during the last 15 years in the United Methodist Church. In addition to providing sobering statistics, this section includes a fictional story of a dying church, outlining the costs associated with the root problems that are responsible for this decline. These include: individualism, consumerism, competing visions and values, complacency, and diminishing resources. Section 2 examines other solutions that have been offered as a remedy to these problems. These include adaptations of the attractional growth model, the simple church model, strategic re-visioning, and top down, one-size-fits-all initiatives that have been a hallmark of the United Methodist Church over the past 15 years. Although these models have sometimes yielded positive results, some of the approaches are expensive, and ultimately cost prohibitive for many churches. Section 3 describes a three-fold approach to address the specific costs in a way that is accessible and energizing for churches. Section 4 describes the artifact, a popular-nonfiction book, [Re] Turning to the Table: Turning Your Church Around One Table at a Time. This story-based resource offers a practical guide to resetting various tables in the church. Section 5 articulates the specific details of the artifact. Finally, Section 6 summarizes what I have learned during the process of researching and writing this dissertation; and how this learning focus applies to my current ministry context.

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