A revitalized church is a powerful force.
Before a church is revitalized, its life dwindles, and death looms. These churches have a fading view of a once bright past, and it gives way to robotic monotony, apathy, and stress.
In Revelation 2:2-5, the Lord shows us the pathway to becoming a revitalized congregation in his message to the Church in Ephesus: “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.“
The church that has forsaken the mission and its pursuit of Christ may still today find harsh judgment. Yet this is not a pre-determined fate! Your church can be revitalized and enter into a new season of effectiveness.
The revitalized church awakens to an empowered, purposeful, and hopeful vision of the future. Scripture provides a compelling picture of what the revitalized church looks like in Ezekiel 37. As we walk through this image, we pray that you will catch the vision for the future God desires for your church.
There are four components to a revitalized church:
The Revitalized Church Has Renewed Structure
“So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.”
A strategic revitalization process requires a solid structure to be successful. The bones of the process are the Great Commission, actionable core values, a discipleship pathway that will provide opportunities for your people to grow in spiritual maturity, and a great, God-sized vision to pursue. A revitalized church needs structure to survive and thrive.
The Revitalized Church Has a Living Purpose
“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
An army exists to fight, and the world needs your church to be ready to engage in the spiritual battle. Soldiers risk their lives, and leaders lead them into action. An army of the Lord that is not willing to fight has no use for the breath of life. The Revitalized Church has renewed breath so that it can take risks, fight, and engage the world with the Good News of Jesus.
The Revitalized Church Has Hope
“Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.”
God is good, and he has a bright future for your church! He is the giver of the breath of life, and it is He who will open your grave and raise you back up! The Revitalized Church recognizes the hope they have for the future. They understand that they are God’s prized people, and that their church has a role to play in God’s story.
The Revitalized Church Experiences Revival
“And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”
Revival is not a new life from nothing; it is a life restored. The Lord declares that He will do it! He will put His Spirit in you, and you shall live!
The only thing that can stop your church from becoming a Revitalized Church is you. The successes of the past mean nothing. Buildings, programs, and good intentions mean nothing.
If the Lord is calling you to be a Revitalized Church, then today is the day to have your army raised back up!
Church Revitalization University is a powerful first step to help your congregation become a Revitalized Church. Registration is open until February 1, 2020. Sign-up today to begin a process in your church to regain the life that God breathed into you before and will again!
A.J. Mathieu is the President of the Malphurs Group. He is passionate about helping churches thrive and travels internationally to teach and train pastors to lead healthy disciple-making churches. A.J. lives in the Ft. Worth, Texas area, enjoys the outdoors, and loves spending time with his wife and two sons. Click here to email A.J.