FIGHT! What does it take to revitalize a church?
I recently had the privilege of speaking at Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference. Amazing content and exciting teaching designed to equip pastors and church leaders to help churches make the turn from death to life was packed in to 3 days. I had an opportunity to speak during the main session on Wednesday morning and wanted to challenge those in attendance. I specifically addressed what is needed if we are ever going to see our churches come back from the brink of disaster.
One of the biggest things missing in today’s existing churches is men and women who are bold and courageous enough to fight for Christ’s church. It seems that a large majority of people coming out of seminary and megachurches are moving in to predominantly white, affluent neighborhoods to plant a church to reach that community. But where are the men and women coming in to existing churches who are desperate for revitalization? They are very few and far between.
There are plenty of people fighting against the church, but where are the people willing to go in and fight FOR the church? I know that God is looking for men and women of courage who are willing to go toe-to-toe with the “power brokers” and controllers of the local church and declare that it’s not about getting “my way or your way” but to get on our faces and discover His way.
They are out there. I know they are. I received this email from one such courageous man after Renovate:
JASON, Just wanted top let you know how blessed I was by the conference this week and by attending your breakout sessions. After attending the first day I was more encouraged about the possibility of our church being renovated, the second day I attended another breakout session and began to question whether our church could be renovated or if it should just be allowed to continue on it’s current path of self destruction. Then on the third day I knew that our church could be restored to it’s original mission if certain controlling people would get out of the way or get a new vision themselves. I have been questioning whether I should stay or find another place where there may be less resistance to change or just another place already restored where I could worship without all of these hang-ups that our church has. I am not sure if we have the leadership to be bold enough to face the challenges at our church but for now I will remain and be an instrument for change. This is what I feel I am called to do at this time. I plan to visit your church in the near future just to see what a turn around church looks and feels like. Thanks again for doing your part in the conference and for being where God wants you in ministry. Sincerely…BOLD CHURCH LEADER! (I signed that for him…)
This attitude is what it’s going to take to see our churches revitalized. No more coddling the status quo and allowing the Bride of Christ to go down with a whimper. It is time for us to rise up and defend Her. It is time for love and grace and mercy to come together with courage and persistence to see God save our churches and ultimately save our world!