Why Dying Churches Should Have Hope

Episode #001
October 5, 2017
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In this debut episode of Revitalize & Replant, Mark Clifton joins us to explain why dying churches should be hopeful about their future.

Today’s Listener Question:


I pastor a dying church. There is little to no evangelistic effort – no new non-churched members over the past 5 years. Any growth over the past 3 years has been transfer growth. The majority of our congregation is in denial about the path our church is on without change. The opponents are preserving the church to the point of death. How can I lead our church to understand there is hope for the future, and that we need to change in order to see fruit from our efforts?

Episode Highlights:

  • Members of dying churches often don’t recognize that reality.
  • “Your church does not have to die.”
  • There is often a sense of shame in a dying church.
  • “Christ has a plan for His Church.”
  • “If you pastor a dying church, focus on getting your church members to love Jesus more than they love their church.”
  • “Dying churches are often holding on to idols in the church that give them comfort and security.”
  • “Want what Jesus wants for your church.”
  • “God is under no obligation to resource your plans for His church.”

The three reasons for hope that we cover in this episode are:

  1. Dying churches have a real possibility to have a future
  2. Healthier churches have an opportunity to make a greater Kingdom impact
  3. Church replanters have an opportunity like never before

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board and ChurchReplanters.com. 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 ChurchReplanters.com.

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.