Church Revitalization Process Plan
Church revitalization is a process that aims to help churches get unstuck. What does it mean to get unstuck? To answer this question, the first step is to understand what it means to be stuck.
As an organization or community, however, you choose to classify the church; being stuck means being unhealthy or in a state of decline. Through church revitalization, churches can rebuild anything that is declining or suffering.
In working towards church revitalization, the focus is on the quality of the approach, rather than the speed. While it is crucial to exhibit a sense of urgency in fixing the church, it is essential to use a method that guarantees quality and long-lasting repairs.
During the church revitalization process, there are three crucial questions to answer:
- Why does the church exist?
- Where is the church going?
- How will the church get to its destination?
When answering these questions, you and your team should do so in the order in which they appear, and also in prayer. For many stuck churches, it is often because they focus on the ‘how’ instead of the ‘why’ in their ministry. They concentrate on how to go about their weekend services or discipleship programs, instead of acknowledging why they engage in weekend services or discipleship programs.
Therefore, when you answer the first two questions of ‘why’ and ‘where,’ you must also answer the ‘how’ question. Also, to get the church unstuck, the ‘how’ in the future must be different from the ‘how’ that is in place today. Taking the same steps or actions and expecting uncommon results will not get you anywhere.
Four steps are crucial in the church revitalization process, and these include:
Making a Change from an Inward to an Outward Focus
An important goal of the church is to spread the gospel. This means reaching out to those outside the faith and the church. For many stuck churches, they focus inwardly, to those that are already in the church.
The church leader should put in extra effort to come up with new strategies to connect with those outside the church and remind their congregation of this. Answering the questions “why do we exist?” and “where are we going?” are crucial in helping a church shift to an outward focus.
Make Discipleship a Path, Not a Program
In many stuck churches, their approach to discipleship focuses on offering an overwhelming number of weekly programs for members to attend. On the other hand, growing churches make discipleship a path.
Why does this work? When the church tries to provide too many programs, it starts competing for resources, time, and attention. A path is a more straightforward approach that doesn’t require any of these.
Stop Doing too Much to Free Up Time and Energy
When the church limits its number of meetings, events, and programs, it frees up time for members and church leaders. With this time and energy it frees up, it helps the leaders focus on how the church functions.
A church that is too complex will have a focus on getting members to attend programs and events. This causes the church to lose sight of the real-life changes the ministry should promote in the life of members.
More Ministry and fewer Meetings
What are church meetings? These are gatherings where various church leaders and members discuss a lot about how to do the ministry. Church meetings take up a lot of time and do not enable the church to perform the ministry.
This is one reason why churches get stuck. They spend most of their time deliberating on how to make the church work and have limited time to take actions that will actually promote growth.
Necessities for Church Revitalization
As individuals, leaders, and members of the church, there are various things that are crucial in promoting the church revitalization. In this article, we will focus on some of the things that a pastor, leader, and members must have to take the church from unhealthy (stuck) to healthy (unstuck).
Commitment to the Word of God
There are several books on leadership available on the market. While these may be helpful, no book can replace the Word of God. As a pastor, you must commit to live by God’s word and also preach it when revitalizing the church.
Through the bible, you learn the right way to:
- Organize the church
Commitment to God’s Word when building the church enables the church to act according to God’s will. On the other hand, depending on the wisdom of the world promotes a church that acts in the same manner as those in the world.
Concern and Care
How much do you care about your congregation and those who listen to your ministry? When you show your congregation how much you care about them, they start to see you as someone worthy of leading them.
As a result, leading the church to a healthy position becomes easier. To show how much you care for your congregation, you must be willing to serve. Engage in marriage counseling, sit at their hospital bed, attend baseball games, and preach at funerals.
To be successful in getting a church unstuck, you must be willing to stay with the church. Nurturing a church to health means you will also be there to help it build health. These are the years that are crucial in propelling the church to a position where it can produce more disciples for several generations.
A Sense of God’s Call
When you can sense God’s call in your life, you will overcome the trials that are to come. There are times when people will turn on you or lose their faith. These are the periods when your only sustenance will be this sense of God’s call in your life.
Nothing good comes easy. There are times when you have to wait a long time to see results. The church revitalization process is one of them.
When making changes to promote a healthy church, make sure you make them slowly. Through patience, you can teach people to see their mistakes, identify problems, and take the right steps to correct them.
When you show patience and understanding, you will also reap from its rewards in instances where you, too, make mistakes.