- Foreword by Chuck Lawless
Study after study indicate that for several years, the vast majority of American churches are plateaued or in decline. This has become such a common point of discussion and understanding, we have grown to accept it, even expect it, as being normal. We need a new expectation. We need a new normal!
After years of serving as a missionary, local church pastor, seminary professor and administrator, conference leader, and church consultant, Dr. John H. Ewart has put together the principles and processes he has experienced and observed in his own ministry and after working with hundreds of churches all around the world.
Are you still a church? How do you know? Are you truly making disciples? How can you tell? Do you have a biblical, understood value for the church and healthy church membership? Do you or your members even know why you really “go to church” each week? Do you understand who you are truly intended to be as church leaders and members? Do the communities in which you live, and minister have an understood value of why your church exists and what you are there to do?
These questions and many more are addressed in this brief book summarizing the church revitalization conference and consultation content and processes Dr. Ewart has shared with denominations, in churches and the classroom over decades of ministry. These are no ivory tower ideas, but practical issues proven in the crucible of actual church and ministry life.
This book is for every pastor, church, and denominational leader. It will help you and your leadership team begin to ask the right questions and provide a practical pathway to discover the appropriate answers and processes to move your specific church or churches to greater health. This is not some quick fix silver bullet. It is a missional and contextual guide that will aid you to do the hard work of real ministry and leadership.
Church health is a journey not an event. A New Normal will motivate you to begin that journey and to continue it. It is time for a higher expectation for the church and church membership. It is time for a new normal!
About the Author:
Dr. John H. Ewart graduated from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the president and founder of A New Normal: Church and Denominational Consultation and Conferencing and the creator of R.E.A.C.H. (Reaching Every Available Community Household - a prayer, outreach, and discipleship strategy implemented through the open small group ministry in local churches). He has authored various book chapters, curriculums, and articles.
Dr. Ewart serves as a board member and a primary instructor for church consultant training conferences for the Society of Church Consulting and has consulted and continues to consult with hundreds of churches and denominational entities in North America and around the world. He formerly served as the senior vice president and senior church growth consultant for The Rainer Group with Dr. Thom Rainer. He has served in full-time pastoral ministry for over twenty years in local churches in Texas, the Philippines, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky. More than one of these churches was recognized for record conversion growth and revitalization experiences and featured in various research and writings. He continues to serve as an interim/transitional pastor in churches as well.
Dr. Ewart has traveled and conducted missions, education, and/or consulting projects in 60 or more nations, and personally participated in over a dozen church starts both on the international and North American mission fields. He formerly served with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in the Philippines for two years. He currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Global Theological Initiatives and Ministry Centers, and associate professor of Missions and Pastoral leadership at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he teaches missions, evangelism, church revitalization, and leadership courses.
John oversees the administrative team for the Center for Great Commission Studies, the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership, the Center for Faith and Culture, the North American EQUIP Network, Hispanic Leadership Development, Persian Leadership Development, East Asian Leadership Development, and all international and North American educational and missions partnerships and special projects for the seminary. He formerly served as the director of the Doctor of Ministry and Distance Learning Programs and as a trustee for Southeastern.
Most importantly, though not raised in church, Jesus used a friend to draw John to salvation in a football locker room and then blessed him graciously by leading him to marry Tresa, his best friend, partner, hero, and the strongest follower of Christ he has ever met. They have three incredible children: Joshua, Rachel, and Josiah, a beautiful daughter-in-law, Stephanie, one granddaughter, Elizabeth Grace, and one grandson, Jonathan Vincent. John and Tresa currently reside in Rolesville, North Carolina.