Organizational Life Cycles


Have you ever heard of an organizational life cycle? In case you haven’t, it is a concept that describes the phases that organizations, such as businesses, churches, committees, and other groups, typically go through. There are many names for the phases, but they often include inception, growth, maturity and decline. The organizational life cycle can look a bit like a bell curve.

With that picture, you might be able to imagine that a few people launch an idea and, with great enthusiasm, gather a bunch more people. After a bit, the group gets to a point where they like what they are doing and keep doing it. Eventually, those enthusiastic individuals that started it all might wander off to start other things. The same old thing is still good, but it may not have the same attraction that it started with. Without a change, the organization can begin to decline. You can probably think of many groups that have a story that fits that picture.

Where would you place St. Mark’s in this picture? Earlier this year, members of Covenant Council participated in a survey that helped us determine where we perceived St. Mark’s to be in the organizational life cycle. As a group, we expressed a lot of hope and optimism that might be seen in the growth phase of the life cycle. We can celebrate over the many awesome things that are going on in our church and community every week! But, we are also aware that our membership numbers were slowly declining, even before the pandemic.

So, where do you want St. Mark’s to be on the organizational life cycle? What do you want our church growth lifecycle to look like?

If you feel like we’re in the growth phase, how do we keep that momentum and reach even more people? If you feel like we’re in the declining phase, how do we turn it around? There’s always something more that can be done, but which things should we tackle first? And, if we have answers to these questions, why aren’t we doing these things already? Maybe we could use a little help.

That’s where Ministry Architects comes in. They will be working with us for the next 19 months to help us get where we would like to be as a church. As a first step, we’ve all been invited to participate in surveys and focus groups to help them get to know us and our dreams for the church.
Let’s celebrate the accomplishments we’ve already achieved and figure out together what we want to celebrate as our accomplishments in the future. I believe we have a lot of great things to look forward to, so let’s get started.

Marci Hill
Covenant Council Member



  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our livestream service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.