Gospel Centered Growth

The Power Cycle (Interactive)
  The Power Cycle© is our model that we use for church growth and renewal. Through it, we see God's presence in all aspects of the church.  

  Click on the different parts of the Power Cycle© to view more information on each part. You may also view a non-interactive version of the Power Cycle© if you would prefer. (Note: Javascript must be enabled for interactivity to work.)  
Feed Forward
Start Here
Finish Here
Identity (Recommendation)

Main Point: "This is who we are."

Description: The cycle continues downward to reaffirm our identity, both individually and corporately. The transition point at the base of the cycle is our identity in Christ, our death, and resurrection to new life.

Our identity must be anchored in our individual and corporate identity as children of God in Christ, through our faith and baptism. This is more important than our membership in an organization. It is our common origin, individually and collectively. It is our spiritual foundation and strength for all we do. Most failing congregations have a weak or unused sense of spiritual identity. As a result, much of what they are and do is diluted, diverted, and/or detached from their faith in Christ.  

For Discussion: How can you better understand your identity in Christ personally and how can your congregation improve the power of identity in Christ in its institutional life?

Next Phase: Vision

Goals (Decision)

Main Point: "This is what we intend to achieve."

Description: From these visions, we can then move onto the life of the visible church through goal setting and other institutional activities. This is where you make the decision on what path to take. This can occur by default without any explicit spiritual vision or by direction through a Spirit-led process.

Setting goals is a “risk-taking” activity. A congregation without goals can never fail, but it also cannot achieve. There is no standard by which to measure its achievements. We can only say “we have done things well” based on the results of an activity. Most churches have no goals, just aspirations. They will point to their activities as if they were goals and not means to an end.

For Discussion: What goals need to be set for your congregation? Remember to set goals that are within your congregation's resources. Starting small and working your way up to larger goals is much more productive than setting too lofty goals that are out of your congregation's reach.

Next Phase: Resources

Delegation (Action)

Main Point: "This is whom we place in charge."

Description: The cycle continues upward to reaffirm our identity in Christ, as this exists both individually and corporately in the church. The transition point at the top of the cycle is our identity in our calling to serve the Lord and carrying out the mission of the church.

All of the programs of the congregation belong to it and not to any one individual or special group of the church. The tendency for individuals to “own” a program arises because there is no process of delegation and accountability in place. We may use individuals to administer programs – after they have been delegated that duty and responsibility.

For Discussion: Who in your church can administer the programs of the church? How can you get your congregation involved in delegating the administration of its programs?

Next Phase: Programs


Main Point: "This is how we start the church on the path of renewal."

Description: Far too many churches feel good about their existence and programs simply because they have no clearly defined criteria for evaluating them. They judge themselves successful if the programs are present, whether or not any significant, spiritual goals have been met. Good intentions are essential Evaluation will measure whether our intentions became reality. We celebrate when our intentions become reality as described by the goals we set in the program. The Christian assessment of church activities will utilize law and gospel in order to feed information forward into a new cycle of death, resurrection, and new life in Christ.

For Discussion: Evaluation is a time to critically examine the fruits of your congregation's work. Did your programs meet your goals? If it did meet your goals, what steps can you take to further your work? If it did not meet your goals, what areas need improvement? Effective evaluation leads to a realization of failures and a spirit led achievements, providing us with a need to repent and trust God's leadership to the future he has planned for us.

Next Phase: Feed Forward*

*Continue to End Here if you have already gone through the cycle. 

Feed Forward: Renewal

Main Point: "Renewal is the foundation for institutional development."

Description: Renewal must be spiritual and in this sequence. First, we use the law of God to assess the program. Next, we sort out spiritual issues from matters of the human nature and make plans for discarding any that degrade our spiritual and practical efforts, but, now, our efforts must be led and empowered by the Gospel. We must be brought to a renewal of our identity as a gift from God, accompanied by spiritual gifts and vision for our common use.

For Discussion: Renewal must be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel of Christ. It must be done in a thorough and patient manner, especially as it relates to individual members of the church. Then it must be embodied in the life of the church, spiritually and institutionally.

Next Phase: Identity

View More Information on Discard and Renewal

Feed Forward: Discard

Main Point: "This is a necessary first step to renewal."

Description: There are at least two things that require the discard of a “program,” which we define as a selected process by which the institutional church does its work as God requires. The first requirement is whether the program conforms to the will of God for the church. The second is the extent to which it was properly and effectively conducted. The use of the Law of God instructs us on what must be discarded if we would move into the future of the Gospel.

For Discussion: Those who cling to a failing past will never find the means in the Gospel that will bring the Spirit’s power for the future. Although the diagram shows separation between Discard and Renewal, they are intimately joined in our new birth in Christ. The demands of graphics can disrupt clear communication.

Next Phase: Renewal


Main Point: "This is what we use to achieve."

Description: As the cycle continues toward delegation, the church must first consider its resources. Once a congregation has goals, the congregation must determine what resources it has before it can begin to meet those goals. Decisions are easy if one already has the resources.

Many church quarrels center on how to use limited resources. We often lack the needed resources because we have not developed the people of the church. The first development, in new visions and goals must be spiritual, towards maturity of faith in Christ. The mature Christian will always have gifts from the Holy Spirit for use in and by the church and the desire to use them with the fellowship.

For Discussion: What resources does your church have, and how can your congregation develop them to move ahead on your goals? Remember that you may have hidden resources that can be expanded through further development.

Next Phase: Delegation


Main Point: "This is how we behave."

Description: The cycle continues with vision, working towards Goals. Vision is a preparation for setting goals. A congregation must know where it desires to head before it can set goals.

Vision comes to individuals directly, through their spiritual gifts from God, or indirectly through the spiritual gifts of others. Setting its vision is a function of the congregation, not of any one individual in the church. Vision establishes the values and expectations for proper behavior and for involvement in the spiritual endeavors of the congregation. It also provides a means for members to connect their special spiritual gifts into the aspirations shared by all in the congregation.

For Discussion: Before setting any goals, consider what the vision of your church is. Where does your church see its future?

Next Phase: Goals


Main Point: "These are the means we use."

Description: Programs are the church living out its identity and working towards the goals it set. The programs of the church are its visible means for conveying the saving gospel to one another and to its community. The programs it conducts will determine the views, attitudes, and convictions of its members and its community towards the congregation. For that reason, the programs should flow out of its identity and vision in Christ through the development of its members for spiritual ministry.

For Discussion: What programs can your church engage in to live out your identity in Christ and fulfill your goals? Remember that programs are created for two reasons, living out your identity in Christ and fulfilling your congregation's goals. Create programs that are within your church's resources and express your servant-identity in Christ. Do this both inside your fellowship and to your community.

Next Phase: Evaluation

Feed Forward

Main Point: "This is how we renew."

Description: Our church moves ever forward as God forgives our past, accompanies us in the present moment, and leads us into the future. We do not do feedback – we feed forward. This is possible by the proper use and application of God’s Law and Gospel. We recognize our human weaknesses and confess our sins (red arrow*). We move on to faith in Christ and constant renewal in that faith (green arrow*) – as God leads us forward. Our identity is renewed, our vision refreshed and expanded, and our life together is strengthened in the Holy Spirit.

*More complete discussion is provided in the Discard and Renewal buttons. 

For Discussion: How does feed forward renew the church?

Next Phase: Discard


Welcome to the Power Cycle. This is the model we use for church renewal, and, through it, we see God at work in the church. The Power Cycle begins with the realization that God works in his church, and this model leads to church renewal with greater effectiveness possible in all areas of mission and ministry.

As you go through the power cycle, you will see different sections for each phase. After you finish, continue on to the next phase indicated below the information. 

Next Phase: Evaluation


This tour of the Power Cycle ends here, but, in reality, the Power Cycle never ends. Once you reach Evaluation, you simply continue on again to Feed Forward and work your way around again. God is always present in his church, and we see that in this model.

We strongly encourage that you continue your study of the Power Cycle and God's work in the church by reading our book, "Seeing God in the Church." This book will give you a greater understanding into how God works in his church through a process model that flows through the body of Christ.

Click Here to View Seeing God in the Church

If you have any questions about this model, feel free to Contact Us. We would be happy to answer your questions and would love to hear your feedback.





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