Revitalization: To give new life to; to give vitality or vigor.
Reading this definition makes me tired! But…it also causes me to reflect on the churches we have served recently; churches that cry for someone to step in and give a hand in order to regain some margin; to create a church life that’s different; and to provide the opportunity to truly reach people in their cities.
I recently heard about a church in a small town that was losing some people and gaining some, yet really not moving forward in the ways they anticipated. After bringing on a new, younger pastor and getting excited about possibilities of growth, the church put forth a campaign to build a new sanctuary to allow for more room for future congregants. The building cost reached into the millions, and the congregation gave selflessly to help actualize the dream. The building is now almost complete. But just because they have a brand new, beautiful building does not mean people will come and stay. Nor does it mean the people will give to repay the large debt that has been incurred. So is that revitalization?
What is revitalization? How do you know you are ready for church revitalization?
Revitalization comes from the inside out — it starts at the beginning.
Here are a few questions to consider to know if you are ready for church revitalization or not:
- Can you identify whether your church is healthy or in decline? (Churches do have a lifecycle.)
- Is there enough passion for revitalization to get you through the slower tough times?
- Have you been so committed to your community that they will want to see you succeed and join you?
- Do you have an outreach ministry people know about because they have had good experiences with your ministry? (When’s the last time a secular news outlet wrote about the impact your church is making?)
- Are there individuals on your staff gifted in change evaluation and the needs in the church and community?
- Is your location a deterrent for revitalization? What about your building?
- Do you have a clearly defined vision, plan, and measures for the future?
Are you ready for church revitalization?:
- Do you know what needs to change? Can you communicate this to show you are ready for church revitalization?
- Do you have a clearly developed plan for renewal?
- Are the right people in place to move you forward?
- Is there someone you can call on with experience in the area of renewal?
- Do you need an outsider to walk you through the process? Someone who is not emotionally connected, but has the necessary skills to accomplish your goals? (Contact us to begin the conversation.)
Scott Ball is the Vice President and a Lead Guide with The Malphurs Group. He lives in East Tennessee with his wife and two children. (Email Scott).