Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Andrew Permenter

Second Advisor

Dr. Jim P Vigil

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Clarensau


Many churches and denominations in North America have been experiencing plateau or decline for the past sixty years. In recent years, the Assemblies of God has experienced trends of plateau or decline in a majority of their churches. The PennDel Ministry Network, one of sixty-four districts within the Assemblies of God USA, has also observed that a majority of its churches are also in a state of plateau or decline. The primary intent of this dissertation is to explore denominational influence in revitalizing churches. Specific attention is given to the church’s participation in the missio Dei as well as the development of ecclesial structures throughout the biblical record and into the first centuries of the church’s existence. A literature review of church and organizational revitalization provides a conceptual framework for denominations to resource their constituent churches toward organizational and missional revitalization.

The dissertation project focused on a sample of four plateaued and four declining Assembly of God churches within the PennDel Ministry Network. Each church’s pastor and board were interviewed using a “guided self-assessment questionnaire.” The questionnaire focused on four topics regarding the church’s present need for revitalization: the church leadership’s perception regarding their church’s present state of plateau or decline, contributing factors of plateau or decline, needs for change, and future partnerships between the PennDel Ministry Network and the sample churches.