How to Deal with Theological Issues in a Revitalization

Episode #058
September 13, 2018
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Theology is important in a church. And sometimes when churches aren’t growing, there can be a temptation to be lighter on theology in exchange for relevancy or growth. Today we discuss why that’s a terrible idea.

Today’s Listener Question:


Many churches that are declining have theological issues (problems with liberalism etc). How do you work through these issues in a church replanting/revitalization situation? Is there anything unique about this? Is there a point when the church is theologically too far gone?

Episode Highlights:

  • “When pastoring, start with the Bible and stay with the Bible.”
  • When you start compromising on small theological issues, you’ll eventually start compromising on big theological issues.
  • “One of the wonderful things about teaching through books of the Bible is it forces you to preach hard passages as well as easy ones.”
  • Doctrine should be held mentally and lived out physically.
  • The goal of church discipline is restoration, not removal.

The seven ways you deal with theological issues in a revitalization are:

  1. Hold to biblical truth
  2. Demonstrate grace
  3. Understand “contextual slippage”
  4. Teach and preach deep truths
  5. Demonstrate the consequences of slippage
  6. Deal with persistent heresy
  7. Don’t sacrifice truth on the altar of relevancy

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and More than 10% of churches in North America are at risk of closing and the North American Mission Board is committed to reversing this trend by decreasing the death rate of existing churches while simultaneously increasing the birth rate of new churches. To learn more about what it means to become a replanting pastor or to explore resources for replanting and revitalization in your own church, visit

Submit Your Question:

Do you have a question about church revitalization or replanting for us to use on the podcast? Visit the podcast page to submit your question. If we use it on the show, you’ll get a copy of Autopsy of a Deceased Church and Reclaiming Glory.