There’s been a lot of talk about revitalization in the church lately. Because this is such an important conversation, partnership networks, books, blogs, and plenty of resources are popping up almost daily to help the local church reset their direction and reach the world effectively. This is, of course, great news, because we want churches to be strong and the kingdom expanded!
We know that for a church to be revitalized, tough discussions need to happen. And often, these dialogues focus on the organizational structure, physical property, and even budgets. Yet there are some important considerations that leaders can’t forget when talking about revitalization. Here are four of them:
- The process of discipleship.
While building a strong foundation in the physical structure of the church is important, none of that will matter if effective discipleship does not take place. The key to discipleship is to plan it out and stay with it. There are plenty of great tools for this purpose such as here and here for both small groups and mentoring relationships. The greater point is this: though disciple making is messy, time-consuming, and requires a ton of patience, ultimately, it is our scorecard as the bride of Christ.
- The nature of change.
Change is easy, right? Hardly. The only change most agree on is when it involves a baby’s diaper! That said, we need to be wary of the change process. This means to be sensitive to the aspects of change such as communication, timing, pace, and the people who are being affected.
- The concern for the community.
The main reason and perhaps the only reason for change is because of the gospel. We want to see people come to and grow in Jesus, so this should motivate everything we do. Our ministries, outreach, worship services, and disciple-making strategy should be fully focused on this end.
- The church.
Never forget a great resource that God has already given to you: your church. They are your core group for reaching others, and they can potentially reach people that you might not ever be able to reach. Even more, they can give you encouragement along the way when things get bogged down and ministry seems almost impossible.
As you can see, there’s a whole lot to consider when revitalizing a church, but you are not alone in this work! Utilize the relationships and resources that might already exist around you. The Explore the Bible Church Revitalization Starter Kit is a good first step, and best of all, it’s a gift to you as we at Lifeway invest in your ministry. And while you’re at it, you can receive four free weeks of Explore the Bible, a great book-by-book study resource for kids through adult age groups. To download your free resources, simply click here.