What behaviors do highly vital congregations have in common? How can all congregations move toward greater vitality? In Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World, Jorge Acevedo passionately and effectively reveals how Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida, has developed behaviors that result in vital and fruitful ministry. Focusing on spiritual pastoral leadership, lay leadership development, worship, small groups, and service and mission, Acevedo both inspires and coaches. He helps leaders of congregations act in their own contexts to develop behaviors essential to vitality, as identified by the recent study of 32,000 United Methodist congregations.
The book includes brief summaries of learnings from the research and stories from other congregations illustrating vital behaviors in different settings.
Approximately 15% of the 32,228 churches (4,961 churches) scored high in vitality based on the vitality index. What this means is that 15% of our churches have figured out some way to remain highly vital in spite of the fact that 85% have not. What this means is that we cannot assign all the blame for our congregational demise at the feet of the “institution” of the church. 4961 congregations have figured out ways to prevail in spite of our denominational condition. To me this is hopeful and promising! This book is my best attempt for us to learn from the 15% of United Methodist Churches that are vital, growing and prevailing.