Eight Common Characteristics of Successful Church Revitalizations

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Revmitchell, May 11, 2015.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    1. The pastor formed an alliance of key influencers in the church. This group is not informal, nor is it closed to others. It begins when the pastor identifies those in the church whose voices are most effective in leading others toward change. I cannot remember a revitalization effort that succeeded without an alliance.

    2. The alliance of influencers recognized the need for church revitalization and made a commitment to pray for it daily. Please don’t let the last part of the preceding sentence escape your notice. Each of the influencers committed to daily prayer for revitalization. They realized it could not take place in their power alone.

    3. The leaders and a growing number in the congregation made a commitment to move the church to look more like the community. Such a commitment naturally involves an outward focus, because declining churches are not reaching all segments of their communities. The leadership within the church begins to look at the demographics of their community. They are willing to face reality on where the church is falling short.

    4. The church began to confront the issue of sacred cows. I know of one church that had a two-hour “town hall” meeting of the members of the congregation. The leaders made a list of every preference and church activity they could recall. For example, one of the items on the list was “11 am worship.” They then labeled each activity as either biblically essential, contextual, or traditional.

    5. The leadership began to work with the congregation to form a clear and compelling vision. One church, an all Anglo congregation, cast a vision to have 20 percent Hispanics in the worship attendance in one year because the community was 40 percent Hispanic. They did not reach 20 percent in year one, but they did in year two.

    6. The leadership communicated a sense of urgency. One of the simplest yet most powerful communications of urgency I’ve heard is: “We change or we die.” Too many congregations are choosing to die because of their unwillingness to change.

    7. The leadership, particularly the pastor, was willing to endure a season of intense criticism. This point is often where revitalization efforts end. The critics can get nasty, and the criticisms can become intense. Many people simply get mad at the idea of change.

    8. The leadership of the church was willing to let go of members. I have never known a successful revitalization effort where members did not leave. Few leaders like to see members leave, but some churches have a “back door revival” before true revitalization can take place.

    http://thomrainer.com/2015/05/11/eight-common-characteristics-of-successful-church-revitalizations/
     
  2. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    I'm not a pastor, but wanted to bump this cause its some good stuff from Rainer :thumbs: Thanks for posting.
     
  3. go2church

    go2church
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    I've heard it said that it is "easier" to start a new church than to revitalize an old church. From my experience, I've found this to be true. Does that match others experience?
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Before a church can be revitalized it must first recognize that it has that need. If they are unwilling to see it then we should let it close in its own time and spend time on working where we can further the kingdom of God.
     
  5. Br. Dan

    Br. Dan
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    Great post and replies. Thanks
     

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