Church planting struggles typically come from external pressures, whereas, church revitalization struggles are usually more personal — from inside pressures. There needs to be some plans to periodically care for the church revitalizer and the spouse.
4. Assure them the church is ready.
There should be some sort of assessment made before the pastor arrives which indicates the level or openness there will be to change. It’s not always a popular topic with established churches. Most don’t want to admit there is a problem, but it is incredibly helpful in starting the revitalization process. This will never be foolproof, but you cannot revitalize without change. Change will always face resistance – it’s human nature, but some churches can and will adapt. Frankly, some never will. The pastor can waste a lot of time “testing” the culture of the church only to find out some things will never change. Therefore, the more a pastor knows about the church – it’s reaction to and history with change – on the front end the more strategic the pastor can be implementing change and the more successful revitalization will be.
5. Provide adequate resources.
There needs to be some better resources available for church revitalization. Every denomination and national church planting group has, for example, a church planter assessment. We need similar assessments in revitalization to help discern if the pastor’s temperament is suited for revitalization. Conferences do a great job focusing on the church planter — few focus as much on church revitalization. Many established churches will not need the level of funding a church plant needs, but there are other resources needed to be successful. If we recognize the need for revitalization, then let’s develop and fund the resources.
It’s a work which must be done. Too much is at stake. We need some church planters to move to church revitalization.
This article on church revitalization originally appeared here, and is used by permission.
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