I had a conversation with a pastor in the midst of a church turnaround/transformation the other day. During that conversation he asked what behaviors should a church leader be looking for that would give her/him clues as to whether the congregation was effectively transforming. I thought about it and here’s my list of the top seven behaviors to look for as a congregation begins turning the corner.

  1. They can be seen praying with people one-on-one and in micro-groups in the church before, after, and sometimes even during worship—plus at other church events. 
  2. They can’t wait to share the stories of the lives they’ve touched in Jesus’ name during the week. Often the stories are about prayers they’ve prayed with unchurched or spiritual conversations they’ve had. 
  3. When the question “What did you read in the Bible that intrigued you this week?” is asked, they not only have an answer, they regularly launch into a conversation about how they referred to the scriptures or to a scriptural principle in their decision-making during the week. 
  4. The Bible starts being an important enough book for them, they actually bring one to worship and to small groups—and after a year it’s starting to look pretty marked up and even ratty. 
  5. When a guest shows up in worship, small group, etc., before the end of the event, they’ve managed to get the guest’s name, know their family, know what they “do” for a living, have contact information, and have invited them to come with them to another activity, whether church related or not. 
  6. Others in church start going to them for prayer and counsel. 
  7. They’re no longer interested in serving on a committee that accomplishes little. Instead, they are involved in hands-on ministry either on or off the church campus.