UPDATE & Point of Grace Church Case-study from book: Growth by Accident, Death by Planning

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  I use case-study illustrations in my books. But sometimes what is a good example for a chapter, can later decline.  Forecasting who will be a good example over the long term is challenging.

But, when possible I like to give update.  Here is an email from a student (Jeremy G.) with an update on a church case-study from Growth by Accident, Death by Planning: How NOT to Kill a Growing Congregation (Abingdon Press).

Dr. Whitesel,

In reading the chapter about missteps in church facilities, I could not help but notice that you hailed Point of Grace Church in West Des Moines as an example of what to do when planning a facility… You may find it interesting that, in 2015, Point of Grace sold that facility to Lutheran Church of Hope, the fastest growing church in the state, because PoG couldn’t afford the upkeep. According to reports, the congregation began contracting shortly after construction of the facility was finished …

Here is an article in the Des Moines Register about the two churches. It contains a little of the history leading up to the selling/purchase of the property and shares the insights of Lutheran Church of Hope, which continues to grow at the Waukee location and several others across the Des Moines metro area.


… Lutheran Church of Hope cited many of the same rationales in the chapter for why they wanted to buy the property.