I realize God calls leaders however He wishes, so I’m always hesitant to offer this kind of list. At the same time, though, I do think these questions are important ones as you consider whether the Lord is calling you to a church revitalization effort in any capacity:
1. Do you generally have eyes of faith? Revitalization requires leaders who see beyond what they do see—who can envision what God wants to do with a church currently in a struggle. It requires looking forward.
2. Do you have a “stick-to-it” attitude? Nobody I know who has led a revitalization started his work thinking, “I’ll give this a shot for a while. If it doesn’t work out, I can do something else.” Revitalizers jump in with both feet.
3. Are you a patient leader? If you need changes to take place yesterday—or even today, you’ll likely struggle with church revitalization. It’s not usually a speedy process to turn around a ship that’s been going in the wrong direction for years.
4. Do you genuinely love the local church? If you don’t love the church, you’ll run over them trying to revitalize them. It should be love for the church that motivates us to see churches revitalized, and it’s that same love that keeps us invested when the going gets tough.
5. Do you enjoy ministering with senior adults? Many churches needing revitalization are filled with senior adults—some opposed to change and others ready to change to give the church new life. Often, these seniors have kept the doors of the church open. It takes a unique leader to walk with them, challenge them, and guide them through necessary change.
6. Are you regularly doing evangelism? A “revitalized” church that still doesn’t evangelize and reach non-believers may not be nearly as revitalized as they think they are. Real revitalization starts with senior leadership of the church obediently sharing the gospel with others. Revitalizers set the example.
7. Is prayer in your DNA? Frankly, many church leaders struggle with consistently staying on their knees—but that reality can’t let us off the hook. If you tend to operate in your own strength apart from the power of God, you will be missing one of the critical components of church revitalization.
8. Are you okay with evaluating numbers in a church? Numbers (e.g., attendance, baptism, offerings, etc.) are surely only one area to evaluate in a revitalization, but those statistics do matter. If you’re unwilling to ask numerical questions, your overall evaluation of the church’s current status and its future growth will be lacking.
9. Are you excited about revitalization? It’s hard work, but you’ll struggle even more if you see revitalization as simply a drudgery you have to do because it’s what many churches need. Even those called to revitalization may struggle at times, but they nevertheless approach the task with enthusiasm and anticipation.
What would you add to this list?
Posted on March 29, 2022
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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