Church Lifecycle Survey and HGC Cohorts

As difficult as it may be to come to grips with, someday your church will cease to exist. We can argue the point, but we hope you can appreciate that every organization goes through life cycles. If we can agree on this, then the question becomes – Where is your church in its current lifecycle? Understanding the answer to that question can go a long way to helping you discern which resources or ministry tools you might need to be leveraging right now. That’s where our FREE Lifecycle survey fits in.

FREE Lifecycle Survey Tool

One word of caution before you take the survey – your results are just your perspective of where your church lands on the lifecycle. You might be spot-on, but we encourage you to get everyone from your church to take the survey and aggregate your results. Beyond simple statistical validation, involving your congregation is a huge step forward in effecting change, and this will definitely give you a better picture of your current season.

With that said, jump in and invests 5 to 7 minutes to take the FREE survey.

FREE Survey

So, where is your church in its current lifecycle?

This is a question we frequently ask at HGC. We’ve met with a lot of organizations and have landed on the idea of creating conversations among peer groups to guide the discussion in the form of cohorts. There’s nothing new about the concept, so don’t expect some revolutionary idea here. The distinction we want to offer comes from hundreds of conversations and consultations over the last ten years. We are shaping cohorts with this experience in mind.

results-oriented relationships

Our cohorts are designed to develop results-oriented relationships between a cohort leader and pastors in the trenches of ministry. In recent years, we’ve learned that when we can get church leaders involved in the right conversations, we get traction that results in forward progress.

We have something for each of the five stages of your church lifecycle.

Turnaround Cohort

If your church is in Plateau or Decline, I would highly recommend you consider a Turnaround Cohort. Turnaround Cohorts are designed for church leaders who are either leading a turnaround church toward a new life or leaders who desire to begin that journey. Turnaround Cohorts are a twelve-month journey. These cohorts explore the various aspects of leading a church into a new lifecycle of effective ministry.

D2R Cohort

If your church is in Decline or near Death, I would encourage you to consider a Dying to Restart Cohort. D2R Cohorts are split into two six month phases. Phase One is focused on helping church leaders assess their church’s readiness for leaving a legacy and entering the dying-to-restart journey. Phase Two is centered around walking church leaders through the necessary steps to begin the dying-to-restart process.

Multiplication Cohort

Multiplication Cohorts are most useful for all churches in the Birth, Growth, or Plateau stages of the lifecycle curve. These cohorts have one clear purpose: to guide church leaders on an intentional journey to answer one courageous question. How will my church multiply? We provide a high-level view of what it means to develop a multiplication culture that can support disciples who make disciples and churches that launch churches.

Are you ready to launch a new lifecycle? Let HGC help you do just that by getting you connected to one of our cohorts. This axiom is so true: We might be able to go faster if we go alone, but we can only go further if we go with others.


Here’s a short video that talks about our vision for cohorts:


Contact Us to begin the discussion.


    Here are brief definitions for each stage of our church lifecycle survey:

    • Birth: The church is just beginning to get traction and momentum is building. People are optimistic about the church’s future and tackle decisions spontaneously with a “can do” attitude.
    • Growth: People feel very good about the church. The majority “own” the church’s goals and vision. It’s easy to find volunteers and people from all levels are involved in church life.
    • Plateau: The church is maturing, leaders are delegating work, and people are excited about their ministry involvement. New people find a place to get involved and overall, people are excited to tell others about their church.
    • Decline: The church is losing momentum as people begin to lose their sense of vision. Few programs are being initiated and it’s difficult to find volunteers. The church’s structure is rigid, change is difficult, and confidence is diminished.
    • Death: The church is clearly entering is last season. There is a loss of sense of where we are going, programs are being eliminated because of limited funds or lack of people, and most of the work is being done by a few. Sadly, few people feel good about the church.