Posted on : Tuesday January 21, 2014

Turn Around Journey graphic

If you believe the statisticians, about 89 percent of Christian churches are on a plateau or in decline OR, the growth they do experience is simple biology or transfer.


The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware’s David Jackson, team strategist for Church Multiplication, and Randy Millwood, team strategist for Church Wellness, are teaming together to develop a “Turning Around Journey” for interested pastors who feel their churches are on a protracted plateau or are showing early signs of decline.

Beginning February 2014, the “Turning Around Journey” includes the following elements in which each pastor accepted will be expected to participate:

  1. Overnight Retreat, Feb. 27-28, 2014 at Skycroft Conference Center, Middletown, Md.
  2. Two-Day Workshop, March 17-18, 2014 at Baptist Mission Resource Center, Columbia, Md. (Participants may choose to stay overnight, but will need to make your own hotel reservations. This is not included in the cost of the Journey.)
  3. One-Day Workshop, May 2, 2014 at Baptist Mission Resource Center, Columbia, Md.
  4. Develop and implement a “Turning Around” project.
  5. Read assigned materials.
  6. Participate in coaching experience.

What will we discuss?

  • The spiritual practice of discernment
  • The process of change
  • The challenge of facing opposition and handling conflict in a way that honors God’s abiding love for people AND devotion to Christ’s mission
  • What it is to lead with courage and instilling courage in the lives of those who go on this quest with you
  • The muck and mire that is sometimes polity and organization

How much will it cost?

This effort will cost TIME—the project is about one year but could last a lifetime—and will require a COVENANT, a formal agreement to pursue God together, with your church.

Each “Turning Around Journey”-participating church is expected to affirm this covenant developed by the pastor and designated representatives of the church. Designated representatives may include deacons, elders, church council, or other leadership group. It does not need to be a church business meeting vote or affirmation, but can be if you so choose. The purpose of the covenant is to affirm leadership and/or congregational support for engaging a quest toward turning around.

The covenant must be submitted by March 12. Download “Turning Around Journey” covenant template here.

In addition, it will cost $245 for contributing BCM/D churches (a contributing BCM/D church is a member church that has contributed something to BCM/D in the last 12 months toward the Cooperative Program (including the state portion), the BCM/D’s regional mission offering, or a designated BCM/D offering. The cost for non-contributing BCM/D Churches is $395.

Note: Application is due February 17, 2014. Apply online at