Sunrise or Sunset?


A New Beginning or an Ending?



Sunrise or sunset? The little speck of light in the lower left of the picture at the top of the page is the headlamp of a car. Will the driver soon be turning his lights off because the day is dawning or will he leave them on because darkness is falling? It is hard to tell just by looking at this photograph. Without knowing all the facts one may never know. In the same way, many churches are very creative at hiding the true facts concerning their health. Often churches blindly ignore reality. Outwardly it is difficult to tell of they are having a new beginning or if they are heading into their sunset years. Only with careful assessment can the true state of health be known. Thom Rainer states that 84% of the church with whom they have worked are plateaued or declining (Thom S. Rainer, Breakout Churches: Discover How to Make the Leap , 45). According to researcher, David Olson, 79% of the churches in America are plateaued or declining with a full 52% in decline (Olson, The American Church in Crisis, 132). Seven to ten churches close their doors each day. Fresh Start Ministries is a ministry designed to help troubled churches get a new lease on life! Is your church one of the 85% that is beginning the precipitous slide down hill?

Fresh Start uses the medical model in examining churches. Just as a patient goes to a doctor seeking a good diagnosis based on good medical practices and principles Fresh Start endeavors to examine churches based on a thorough examination of the church, the community and the church's leadership structure. Recommendations are made based on these diagnoses. The recommendations come from years of practical ministry experience and know how.

Sunrise or sunset for your church? Need help? Give us a call or e-mail us. We would love to be a tool used by the Lord in your church to help bring about a Fresh Start.

Copyright © 2007 Fresh Start Ministries

Latest revision: 2/3/2017


Our Vision:

Fresh Starts!

Psalm 51:12





Fresh Start Ministries 

helping transform troubled churches and denominational entities 

. . .

one at a time.

Photo courtesy of Bob Humphrey, founder of Fresh Start Ministries

Does Yours?

Mini-blinds askew. Archery practice at the front door. A missing cross. The leaning belfry. Cyber sermons beamed in from on “high.” A dream of reaching the countryside for Christ . . . dead. Turkey buzzards hungrily looking for one last meal, ready to pick the body clean. Too late! Only the skeleton of the dream is left, an empty hulk of fiery sermons and passionate evangelistic appeal, the laughter of children and the tears of the repentant . . . a building left to time, the elements and the critters of the countryside. An effort was made to salvage the fellowship—new siding, the start of a new roof. However, the efforts were too little too late. Another fellowship dies a grinding, painful death!

A new shell on the outside could not stop the decay on the inside.

Fresh Start

Helping to quench the fires of unresolved conflict

. . .

Helping to ignite fires of revival

with pastors, and plateaued, declining and troubled churches

Copyright 2007

Revised 1/28/2015

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Gordon Penfold, Fresh Start Ministries, P.O. Box 178, Eaton, CO 81065, Phone: 970.631.6740, e-mail: