Rev. Jason Ewart
Lead Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc, Wis.
Rev. Jason Ewart became the pastor of Hope in 2009. The congregation was started a few years earlier with a vision of reaching people who had given up on church. On Rev. Ewart's first Sunday at Hope, 90 people showed up at the congregation’s rented facility. After six months, he had successfully shrunk the church to 65 people a Sunday. That’s right, more than a quarter of the people had stopped coming within half a year. But that’s when the momentum shifted. It wasn’t a gradual shift. It shifted fast. Today, 450 people attend Hope on a given weekend. This growth has happened while the congregation has strategically chosen to remain portable. They currently rent a middle school gymnasium.
The Same Page Advantage
Here’s the interesting thing about the story; Hope Lutheran didn’t change anything when they bottomed out. They didn’t introduce something new that triggered growth. They didn’t change a worship service. They didn’t add any new ministries. In fact, the reason why the congregation gained momentum was the same reason why the congregation was initially in decline. In this session, Rev. Ewart will talk about a church leadership principle that is critical for building a healthy faith community.
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