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This post is all about what it takes to do the work of church revitalization. [Click On The Image To Read The Post]

Short-term mission trips are vital for Christians and the Church. Here are five reasons to get involved with short-term missions at your church.

When a pastor is called to a church, the process is always exciting. The new pastor is usually anxious about the new assignment, and the church members anxiously await what changes the new pastor is going to make.

I can remember when I was called to my current church, and the first day I was asked, “Well pastor, what are you going to change first?” At that time, I didn’t have an answer to what needed to be changed, but I knew what needed to be added, a clear plan of discipleship.

A clear plan of discipleship is much needed in all churches but is required in the process of church revitalization. Here are three reasons why.

Discipleship Plays A Biblical Role in Revitalization

The Great Commission calls all Christians to make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20 is commonly known among churchgoers and pastors. So why do Churches continue to forget what they are called to do?

A church that is in the process of Church Revitalization must understand that when they do not make disciples, they are not fulfilling the commission to which Christ has called them. Therefore, a Church that is not practicing discipleship is disobedient to their Lord, Jesus.

Furthermore, discipleship is what has defined the church. Jesus modeled discipleship as he walked with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Acts 11:21-26 describes Paul and Barnabas following Jesus’ example by making disciples in the early church. The church is defined by this Great Commission to make disciples; the Commission is a part of their purpose and identity. Therefore, a church that is not making disciples is a church that has forgotten her mission and has lost her identity.

Discipleship Plays An Vital Role in Revitalization

Churches may be great at implementing many different ministries. They may have a fantastic children’s program, student program, women’s ministry, and men’s ministry but if they are not fantastic at making disciples they are missing the most important thing.

In the consumer church culture, it is understandable how the church can emphasize whatever programs their culture desires. If a church is a traditional Christian area, they may focus on remaining traditional in worship style to meet the desire of the culture. If the church is in an area with young families, they may focus energy on the children’s ministries to satisfy the desire of the culture. While it is perfectly okay to contextualize ministry for the culture, a church must be diligent in keeping discipleship the focus of the ministry. Therefore, if the church is not teaching people to grow in their walk with Christ instead of the culture, the church is missing the point.

Discipleship Plays A Valuable Role in Revitalization

I don’t believe that anyone would argue that Churches going through revitalization are in need of some new growth. And the great news about discipleship is this; Discipleship helps the church to grow.

A church that is evangelizing the lost, teaching their congregants the Scripture, and challenging them to share the gospel with their lost friends and family is a church that will inevitably experience growth. God is faithful, and when we are obedient to his call, He blesses our obedience. Therefore, when we make disciples as He has called us to, He brings the growth to the church.

While church growth may reveal itself in different ways over the life of the church, growth is an indicator of church health. For some churches growth may present itself through an abundance of lost people becoming Christians, for others, it may be an increase in small groups, and others it may be Christians being sent out to start new ministries. Therefore, A church that is not growing is not a healthy church.

The simple truth is, No church makes disciples by accident.

Which should cause a church to ask a few questions…

  • Is my church growing?
  • Is there a clear path of discipleship for people to follow?
  • Is the path of discipleship producing the results desired?

While many more questions must be asked and answered, this should get you thinking about how your churches’ discipleship process is working or not working.

The church has been Commissioned with a great responsibility to make disciples, and we have been given enormous power to accomplish that mission. May our churches be known by how we make disciples for the cause of Christ.

For more posts in this series check out these previous posts.

Step 1: Pray For Revitalization

Step 2: Seek God’s Word in Revitalization

Step 3: The Pastor’s Role in Revitalization

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?

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 first step.

Step 1: Pray For Revitalization

The starting point for any church that desires to begin the revitalization process is prayer. The early church was founded and flourished through the power of prayer (Acts 2:42) and churches today will do the same if they turn to the Lord in prayer.

Seek The Lord’s Will

The church must first pray to know God’s will and wisdom for the church. Just as Jesus’ model prayer is for Christians to pray for God’s will to be done in the world (Matt 6:10), the pastor and church leaders must seek out the God’s will for their church. The prayer for revitalization will then seek to align with God’s will through a prayer of repentance. Repentance is required because there is no perfect or utterly healthy church. Church leadership must understand there are areas in the past in which the church needs to get right with God. Repenting of past, unconfessed sin or areas that are just not in line with the Lord’s will are places to start getting right with the Lord.

Seek The Lord’s Vision

Along with seeking the Lord’s will, church leadership should be praying for a renewed vision from the Lord. They should be asking, what does the future look like for our church? And, how can we as a church get there? These types of questions must be open-ended for God to move and speak. If the leadership is unwilling to let God give his vision for the church or if the leadership tries to steer the conversation with God, they could miss his answer and direction for the future of the church.

Seek The Lord’s Unity

Once God’s vision has been established the leadership must ask God for unity in the church through the revitalization process. Church revitalization is often a hard thing for church members because it requires a certain amount of change. Change in the church can quickly lead to fear and division, and therefore church leaders must plead with the Lord to bring unity to his church.

Seek The Lord’s Power

Furthermore, the church revitalization process requires prayer to access God’s power. Scripture tells us that God is the source of church growth (1Cor 3:6) and the church must recognize God as the source of church growth by pleading with Him for his movement among his people.

Will You Join Me In Praying For Our Churches To Be Revitalized and Our People To See Revival and Awakening?