Foreword

Lee Kricher sat in my office in the spring of 2003 and told me he was considering returning to the role of Senior Pastor of the struggling and aging church that he helped to start. I was pretty straightforward about how daunting it would be to initiate and implement the kind of significant change required for genuine church transformation. But he took on the challenge, and somehow he and the people of Amplify Church pulled it off. Their journey is documented in For a New Generation.


The focus of this book is on building a church that reaches - and will continue to reach - the next generation. While the specifics about what and how to change will vary from church to church, this book is a guide that contains universal principles of transformation. Any church leader or member, no matter the denomination, can benefit from reading it and working through the challenging questions posed in it.


It may seem too hard or too risky to change your church's ministry model in order to reach the next generation, especially if the people currently attending aren't bothered by the way things are. But changing your church's approach to ministry may not be the threat you think it is to your church's mission and existence. It may be the very thing that saves it.



Andy Stanley

Senior Pastor

North Point Ministries

Endorsements

Lee Kricher is the first person I know who transitioned a struggling and aging church into one that un-churched people love to attend. He’s the expert I point people to with questions about transitioning a church. Now he’s sharing the principles he learned. If you want to ensure that your church is positioned to reach the next generation, For a New Generation is a great place to start. 

Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor, North Point Ministries

 

 

Rich in insight, difficult to put down, courage-inspiring, practical, and brutally honest, For a New Generation makes church revitalization seem invitingly doable—because it can be!

Warren Bird, Ph.D., Research Director, Leadership Network

Co-author of 28 books

 


Over 90 percent of American churches are either declining or growing more slowly than the community in which they are located. Here is a story of a church that went counter to the norm. Here is the story of a church that started reaching a new generation. Here is a story of a church where the seemingly impossible became possible in God’s power. Read Lee Kricher’s powerful story of Amplify Church for encouragement and insights. But, above all, read it with the prayer that God will do a similar work in your church.

Thom S. Rainer, President and CEO

LifeWay Christian Resources

Author of I Am a Church Member and Who Moved My Pulpit?


 

I firmly believe that Jesus and his Church are the hope of the world. But what if a church no longer meets the needs of a younger generation and is at risk of irrelevance in its local community? I deeply admire Lee Kricher and his courageous leadership at Amplify Church to make the difficult but necessary changes to become the successful multi-generational church it is today -- a place that seeks to shepherd its attendees toward an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and lasting life transformation. For a New Generation tells a powerful leadership story that will resonate deeply with any pastor or church member who longs to be part of life-giving community of Jesus followers!

Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, President and CEO

Compassion International

Co-author, Small Matters

 

The challenge for most church leaders is that they listen to church planters talk at conferences, and then go home to a church which they need to transition. As someone who has both planted a church and transitioned a church, I can attest to the reality that they are not the same thing. Lee Kricher knows what he's talking about when it comes to church transition. You'll love his practical, inspiring approach and come to value him as a leader who really understands the dynamics in your church.

Carey Nieuwhof, Author, Leading Change Without Losing It

Founding Pastor, Connexus Church, Toronto, CN

 


Becoming a true change maker requires not just the insight that change is needed, but also a sound approach and the courage to take action. For a New Generation is an inspiring story of a church filled with courageous people committed to turning their church around. It’s a unique guide that will help church leaders and members apply sound organizational change strategies to their own situations. 

Brad Lomenick, Author

H3 Leadership and The Catalyst Leader

 

 

You will not be disappointed in this book! Lee Kricher is a seasoned church revitalizer and one who knows how to regrow a church. With the success of Amplify Church in Pittsburgh as his lab, Lee has developed a great book that will encourage you, challenge you, and lead your church to begin the effort of revitalization. The five practical strategies offered within these pages will help every church in need of revitalization. For the Church Revitalizer, this could be the most important book you purchase this year and there is none better to guide you than Lee Kricher.

Tom Cheyney, Executive Director of Missions

Greater Orlando Baptist Association

Founder, Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference

                                                          


I have known Lee Kricher for almost 30 years and have always respected his leadership excellence and pastor's heart. Within the last few years, I have watched as he stepped into an older church that had been in several years of decline, and transitioned that organization not only into a rapidly growing church with multiple campuses, but also into one of the leading churches in our city in reaching the next generation. As you read this book, you are reading Lee's observations - which are both sound and proven to work.

Jeff Leake, Lead Pastor

Allison Park Church (Assembly of God)

Founder, Reach Northeast church planting network

 


Through real life application, Lee Kricher faces and addresses the challenges that not only the local church but many denominations are faced with today. He has embodied principles that are universal to every successful organization while balancing those with God’s leading through the Holy Spirit, resulting in a ministry that is impacting the community. There’s a take away for every leader who takes the time to read For a New Generation!

Gerry Hindy, President and CEO

AG Financial

 

 

Jesus said, “New wine must be put in fresh wineskins.” For A New Generation answers the question, “How do you make an old wine skin fresh?” It contains principles and answers that many of us have been searching for. The journey of Amplify Church demonstrates that both the “old” and the “new” can be preserved. Every leader should be grateful for Lee Kricher’s chronicling of this amazing journey.

Bishop Joseph L. Garlington, Sr., Presiding Bishop

Reconciliation! International Network of Churches and Ministries

 


If the church does not gain the heart and needed skill set to transition to the next generation, the consequences will be devastating. Lee Kricher has not written a book of theory, but a practical guide to getting it done. He has not only led a church back from the dead, but has placed it into the hands of next generation leaders. Jesus prayed that our "fruit would remain." This book is an answer to this heart cry of our Savior. 

John Nuzzo, Founding Pastor, Victory Family Church

Faculty, Rhema Bible Training College

 


We get the same impression when reading For a New Generation as we did when Lee Kricher spent a day with over a hundred church leaders from our conference. He has a humble approach that insists on the need for change without leaving people feeling judged or vilified. Lee does a masterful job of sharing the experiences, challenges and delights that come with helping a church grow young. Don’t be surprised if For a New Generation becomes a reference book that you return to repeatedly! 

Alma and Brent Thompson, Superintendents

Ohio Conference of the Free Methodist Church

 


When I started my journey as a second career pastor seven years ago, I’d had decades of experience as a leader in the Air Force. I’d even taught leadership to senior officers at the Air War College. Yet I was unprepared for the challenge of leading transformation in an historic church. I’m grateful for Lee Kricher’s unswerving commitment to bringing new life to churches like ours. For a New Generation is clear and focused, and outlines an approach that pastors and lay leaders can work through together. I pray that it will lead many, many churches into God’s better future.

Tom Hall, Senior Pastor

First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh

 


In writing out of his own experience, Lee Kricher has given us a tremendous gift in For A New Generation. Many churches want to grow but do not know how. Instead of seeking out new ways they continue to do what they’ve always done with greater sincerity. The results are still the same, continued decline. Lee writes from his experience of turning a declining congregation back to a place of effective growth by leading them to think and act differently. I know I will use this resource with churches under my supervision.

Joel Garrett, District Superintendent

The United Methodist Church

 


Lee Kricher’s For A New Generation is a provocative read that challenges both pastors and congregational leaders to see that they can best honor their past by re-shaping and developing ministries that will continue to reach the next generation. This is a significant book that calls the Church, as a whole, to prayerfully create a vision of ministry that will clearly guide and direct its leaders as they faithfully consider which programs, ministries, and practices can best help the Church to reach a new generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wayne G. Gillespie, Pastor

Christ’s Lutheran Church, Murrysville, PA

 


An urgent, hands down, straight up, no nonsense game plan of how to grab the problem of church decline by the horns and, through the power of God and the collective wisdom of experienced pastors, flip it upside down. Lee Kricher has written a book that speaks across the boundaries of church traditions to all who have a desire to see the local church reach beyond itself and engage people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is not just a book for Church leaders but for the passionate and the dispassionate whom they lead.

Fr. James Mallon, Pastor

Saint Benedict Parish, Halifax Nova Scotia

Author, Divine Renovation: Bringing Your Parish from Maintenance to Mission

 


The key to future growth in the Church is one that used to be taken for granted - effectively passing on our faith in Jesus Christ to the next generation. Lee Kricher beautifully combines his personal experience as a pastor with proven principles and strategies that would serve any congregation. This book is meant to be provocative, not prescriptive, and I would highly recommend it to any leader who is willing to stretch their thinking about their responsibility to future generations.

Matthew F. Manion, Catholic Leadership Institute

 


At Parish Catalyst, we bring together pastors and key members of their pastoral teams from across the country who are eager to grow their parishes in innovative ways. The principles found in For a New Generation have inspired these leaders to consider how to better reach the next generation - a critical factor in accelerating parish vitality and growth.

William E. Simon, Jr., Founder and Chairman, Parish Catalyst

 


What Lee Kricher has done with For A New Generation is provide a workable process for all those willing to take on the challenge of congregational revitalization. Written by someone who has lived the principles and the process personally, this is a valuable guide for pastors and parish leadership teams, regardless of their denomination. This book confirms that you can develop practical actions that can put your congregation on a road to vitality.

Greg Petrucci, Director of Evangelization, Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg



I am excited to imagine how Amplify Church’s inspiring example of church revitalisation can spur European church leaders to look to God to breathe new life into their struggling congregations, and dying denominations. Lee Kricher wouldn’t let his church die without a fight. This book can inspire new strategies for the battle that is just as real on this side of the Atlantic.

Andy Peck, host, The Leadership File

Premier Christian Communications, London UK

 


After thirty years of ministry, I went through a time of refocusing and reflection and prayerfully considered the possibility of planting a new church. With so many churches in Germany in decline, I needed to know: “What new approach should be taken?” I accepted an invitation from Lee Kricher to visit Amplify Church, a revitalised church in the northeast U.S. that was facing many of the same issues that we face. What I experienced inspired, guided and encouraged me. The principles and strategies outlined in For a New Generation are a promising path to follow and helped us to successfully initiate a church for the next generation.

Gottfried Claussen, Pastor

Christliches Zentrum, Amberg, Germany

 


Lee Kricher articulately and experientially lays out a road map for any church in any culture to be revitalised: to stop the decline and to breathe life back into a church. This book is not a collection of theories and ideas but sound principles that work in the real world! I hope that For a New Generation becomes a ‘best read’ of pastors and leadership teams from the many churches in Australia and Asia that would greatly benefit from applying its strategies.

Peter Pilt, International Director Global Care Australia

 


Over a decade ago, Lee Kricher was an invaluable advisor to Chick-fil-A Inc. as we were developing the leadership competency model that still guides our leaders. Then and now, Lee consistently displays three qualities: humility, courage and practicality. For a New Generation documents those same qualities being poured into the provocative and inspiring transformational journey of Amplify Church. A must read for all those interested in the Church and in the next generation!   

Mark A. Conklin, Director, Staff Leadership Development

Chick-fil-A Inc.

 


For years, Lee Kricher was an Organizational Change Consultant and then Vice President of Leadership Development at DDI. He was a trusted advisor to our clients and an invaluable resource. It is no wonder that For a New Generation is such a powerful case study in applying proven change leadership principles in the local church. Lee is an excellent example of a catalyst leader - someone who knows that leadership is not lighting a fire under the team, but igniting a fire within them.

Tacy Byham, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer

Development Dimensions International (DDI)

Co-Author, Your First Leadership Job

 


While this book focuses on the transformation of one church, its lessons resonate with any leader or organization struggling to change...or even survive. It is about the courage of one leader to let go of the past. It is a story about focusing on engaging a whole new generation, the building blocks of the future. Lee Kricher is leaving a legacy for decades to come.

Dr. Richard Wellins, Senior VP

Development Dimensions International (DDI)

Co-author, Your First Leadership Job

 


Lee Kricher has created a masterful blueprint for driving change—simply elegant in teaching turnaround strategies embedded in a beautifully written success story that amplifies what can be done in two years.

Phil Harkins, Executive Chairman and Founder

Linkage, Inc.

 


Lee Kricher’s For a New Generation provides a blueprint to help churches grow in ways that are meaningful, purposeful and relevant. The experience Lee gained during his years in corporate settings is applied here to a higher purpose. If your church needs to better reach the next generation, this book will map out the big picture, provide specific examples and help to create momentum.

Susan Bixler, Author, Speaker and CEO

Bixler Consulting Group

 


For a New Generation does not provide another model to plug into your church, but rather a guided path to examining every aspect of a local congregation, holding onto what is good and timeless, and letting go of what is no longer working. It offers hope and encouragement to every church —dying and growing alike—as they embark on the journey to flourishing. It is an intrepid journey that will require courageous leadership. With this book in hand, you are not on that journey alone.

Lisa Pratt Slayton, President

Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation

 


I have known Lee and Linda Kricher for almost four decades. They are articulate, bold, authentic and creative leaders. It is not possible for every church to have Lee or Linda as a personal coach, but this book is the next best thing. For a New Generation contains proven principles and strategies that will equip any pastor or church member to more effectively attract and develop the kind of young and gifted leaders that are required for sustained church revitalization.

Dr. Jay Passavant, Founder/CEO

Passavant Leadership Group

Author, Seamless Succession: Simplifying Church Leadership Transitions