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Check out my latest sermon on the Parable of the servant with ten minas!

Check out my latest sermon on how to make God a priority in your thoughts!

Check out Sunday’s sermon from my series on “Priorities” on how to make God a priority with your time.

A church that is evangelizing the lost, teaching their congregants the Scripture, and challenging them to share the gospel with lost friends and family is a church that will inevitably experience growth of some kind.

I was recently published on Lifeway’s pastor resources page. If you have a minute, check it out.

(7/15) Romans 8:12-17 “You’re A Part Of God’s Family”

Main Idea: God Adopts Sinners and Makes Them Saints

 

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 You did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:12–17 (CSB)

v12-14 God’s Children Listen To Their Father (The Spirit)
v15 God’s Children Do Not Fear, God’s Children Cry Out To Him
v16-17 God’s Children Will Receive His Glory

It has been my experience that every church is going through a process of revitalization in some form or another. I have never met a pastor who did not want their church to be healthier or to grow. Every church that I have served in tirelessly worked to be more useful for the glory of God.

We pushed because we knew church health and the salvation of souls hung in the balance. We worked hard in revitalization because we knew that churches that revitalize well, in most cases experience biblical growth and churches that do not work at revitalization end up in stagnation and death. Church revitalization must be a constant work of every church leader. But what does it look like to revitalize well?

After leading churches in the work of revitalization and working through countless hours of materials on church revitalization, I have found three things to be imperative for the work of revitalization. Here is the third step.

(Click Here For Step 1)

(Click Here For Step 2)

Understanding The Pastor’s Role in Church Revitalization

The Pastor is the Front Runner For Revitalization.

The pastor plays a vital role in communicating the vision of church revitalization. The pastor is the out-front and visible leader of the church. Therefore, the pastor is designed to be the one leading the charge for church revitalization. He is delegating tasks and letting people know what needs to get done. There is also great power in the pulpit to steer the church, and the pastor must utilize this power to lead the church in the process of revitalization. Casting a vision of the church’s bright future to reach the next generation for the cause of the Kingdom, and proclaim salvation in Christ alone is the pastor’s privilege and responsibility.

The Pastor is the Visionary for Revitalization.

The pastor must have a clear vision for revitalization. When a church makes shifts to become healthy and effective, the forces of evil always push back. Pushback may present itself through spiritual warfare on the pastor’s family, or resistance to change from the church family. Regardless of the method, the pastor must have a clear vision of the Lord for the mission of revitalization. If the pastor committed to church revitalization, the church will lose sight of their purpose and return to stagnation. But if the pastor is clear and committed to what the Lord has called, he will remain faithful and see his calling for church revitalization through.

The Pastor is the Leader for Revitalization

Church revitalization is hard work for a pastor. Churches consist of people who want to run the church their way, individuals who desire for nothing to change or grow, apathetic people who don’t care whether the church grows or stagnates, and others who wish to see their church grow but don’t know how to go about it. Therefore, strong pastoral leadership is a requirement for church revitalization. Pastors must determine if they are ready and committed to lead the church to take on the mission of revitalization. Church revitalization takes time, and if the pastor is already considering a move or is uncommitted to the church’s future, it would be best for the pastor not to take the leadership role the process of revitalization.

The process of church revitalization is not an easy task. Leading a church through the many stages of church revitalization, namely, grieving the past, working through change, and envisioning a future takes patience and endurance for even the most seasoned pastors. Theologically we must understand that while church revitalization is complicated, God cares about the health of his church. Jesus loves his bride greatly, and he will return for her soon (Rev 19:7). He has even given her great, enduring power in a dark world and has promised her victory over the powers of hell (Matt 16:18). While the work of church revitalization is no doubt hard work, God has called us to the task, and I believe the work is worth the effort.

It has been my experience that every church is going through a process of revitalization in some form or another. I have never met a pastor who did not want their church to be healthier or to grow. Every church that I have served in tirelessly worked to be more useful for the glory of God.

We pushed because we knew church health and the salvation of souls hung in the balance. We worked hard in revitalization because we knew that churches that revitalize well, in most cases experience biblical growth and churches that do not work at revitalization end up in stagnation and death. Church revitalization must be a constant work of every church leader. But what does it look like to revitalize well?

After leading churches in the work of revitalization and working through countless hours of materials on church revitalization, I have found three things to be imperative for the work of revitalization. Here is the second step.

(Click Here For Step 1)

Step 2: Seek God’s Word in Revitalization

God’s Word plays a vital role in revitalization. God’s Word has been used in the process of revitalization by many leading their congregations to new health (Ezra 6:18; Neh 8:1-12). The primary way to apply God’s Word in revitalization is first to look to the Word for guidance.

Apply The Word Personally & Corporately

Church leadership should ask, what are we doing that is against God’s word? If there is anything there, they must stop and repent of it. Leadership must then extend this to the congregation. Is there a brother or sister that is living outside of God’s will and is not addressed with the Scriptures? After all, we know “that a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (1Cor 5:6-7). Therefore, we must practice biblical, loving church discipline for the restoration of our brother, the health of the church, and the building of the body (Matt 18:15-20). If a church is going to seek church revitalization, they must be committed to God’s word personally.

Align With The Word In Ministry

The leadership should then ask, what are we doing outside of God’s word? We live in a culture of consumer Christianity, and church leaders are tempted to incorporate anything into their church that may attract new members. But for the church that is in need of revitalization, they must clear out what is non-essential and focus on what the Lord would have them do. There is a great benefit for the church that obeys the Lord. Ministering through an evangelism program will always produce more profit for the kingdom than a coffee bar. Churches will do everything under the sun in the name of ministry, but churches should focus on what the Lord would have them do.

Communicate The Word Passionately

Finally, leadership must ask, are we communicating God’s word? There is nothing like the pure preaching of God’s Word to bring life and vision to the people. Preachers who desire to have healthy churches must preach God’s word to their people. They are not to add to the Scripture their own opinions or logic. They are merely to read the text and share God’s truth from it. The Scripture must drive their sermon.

God’s Word is vital and necessary for both the believer and the church. Will you commit with me to seek the Word of God?

Colossians 1:24–29 “Anchored To The Mission”

 

24 Now I rejoice in my SUFFERINGS for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for his body, that is, the church.

 

The Attitude of Ministry

  • Suffering brings Good to the People of God
  • Suffering brings Good to the Person of God – James 1:2–4
  • Suffering Unifies The Person of God to Christ – John 15:18–21

 

25 I have become its SERVANT, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

The Calling of Ministry

  • The Servant Of God Is Called To Make The Word Of God Known.
  • The Servant Of God Makes The Word Of God Fully Known.
  • The Servant Of God Shares The Mystery Of God.

 

28 We PROCLAIM him, WARNING and TEACHING everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving with his strength that works powerfully in me.

 

The Purpose of Ministry

  • The Christian Proclaims Christ
  • The Christian Warns Everyone
  • The Christian Teaches Everyone