Take a look at some churches, and it’s hard to believe that life can ever come from what appears to be impending death. Here’s why I believe church revitalization is possible, even in the toughest situations:
- God is a God who specializes in bringing new life to the dying. That’s just who He is – and we can trust that He still does that in churches today. It’s Satan who says it can’t happen.
- A committed, faithful, visionary leader can make a difference in almost all situations. Just one person who leads with vigor and faith can restore hope to a struggling congregation.
- Somebody in the church wants it to grow in a healthy way. It may be only one person, but that’s a start. Finding God’s remnant creates optimism.
- Larger churches are more committed to helping struggling churches thrive. Frankly, too many pastors have been so “turf-ish” and competitive that they’ve been unwilling to help other congregations. That’s changing.
- More leaders are developing team leadership. Particularly, younger leaders want to lead through a team, and having that team gives backing and support to press on toward revitalization.
- Some dying churches are finally recognizing reality. They’re willing to admit that unless something changes, the church will die on their watch.
- Denominations are giving attention to revitalization. The primary focus has been on church planting, but not to the neglect of revitalization. Denominations are recognizing the need to do both.
- Older folks who are deeply loved often get on board with revitalization. That is, even folks who long for things to stay the same can buy in to change if they know they’re genuinely loved and respected in the process.
- Intentional interim pastors are often trained in revitalization. They bring with them both the passion and the skill to help a church evaluate itself and set itself up for renewed growth under a new pastor.
- Young leaders are interested in revitalization. In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of my students at Southeastern Seminary who want to lead churches to revitalize.
- First steps toward revitalization are often basic. For example, preach the Word clearly and fervently. Push everything toward excellence. Pray often. Strengthen the worship service, and do evangelism. You can start somewhere if you want to see revitalization!
What other reasons would you add to this list?