Merry Christmas, friends! For 25 years of my life in worship ministry, I have “been in charge of Christmas.” I confess that it is very unusual for me not to be consumed with Christmas music and activity; I know better than most how busy this season is for all of us. May God sustain us all through this season of celebrating the birth of Christ!Pastor – have you invited your board and even your congregation to join our BCYD Church Revitalization Facebook page yet? Here’s why you absolutely need to: we are all struggling in our battle to lead healthy churches. It's an uphill climb that many of us are losing, and it’s too tempting to serve the status quo. Why? Because leading a healthy and growing church is hard, tiring, and requires us to deal with constant conflict and change.
If we are not constantly reminded of WHY we need to lead “mission-driven churches,” then we will default to the pain-free option of leading (and I use that term loosely) “preference-driven churches.” Left on our own, the pull from the gravity of selfishness will force us to put our focus on meeting the needs of the saints above the call of Jesus to reach lost people.
By joining our page, you’ll daily be reminded to stay focused on the Mission with leadership gold like this:
“Relevance matters simply because it gains you permission to speak into the people and culture around you. The culture simply doesn't listen to leaders it deems irrelevant” (Carey Nieuwhof).
Isn’t that great? Bottom line, I hand-select great reminders like this to keep putting ‘courage fuel’ in your leadership tank because we all need to remain resilient in these desperate days.
Allow me to light a fire in your heart for “revitalization,” will you? Consider this thought: whether you choose to engage in Revitalizing your church or not, there is a great risk. If we DON’T choose the path of Revitalization, we risk being on a journey that will lead to our demise.
Hopefully, it is now no secret that most of our churches are struggling to survive. If 74% of our churches are either plateaued or in decline, and if most of our congregations are only growing through transfer growth, and if most of our congregations are comprised of seniors, then time is our enemy. Without new life and new growth, it is only a matter of time before our churches will die as our seniors age. Sadly, that is our reality if we choose NOT to engage with Revitalization.
If we DO choose to engage with Revitalization, then we must acknowledge that there is a risk in this decision as well. Revitalization inevitably requires change: a change in “why” and “how” we are doing ministry the way that we are. It will require a significant, seismic shift in the focus of our efforts, and this will ruffle feathers.
This decision may cause some congregation members to leave our church to go to another church down the road. Or worse, they might stay and cause trouble. They might resist. Either way, it will involve conflict which will be draining, time-consuming and endlessly frustrating. For some of us, this risk is daunting.
It’s scary. It’s exhausting, to say the least. But consider the alternative: it might work!
Leading our congregations through change might actually birth new health and spark new growth. It might attract young families and non-Christians. It might actually make your Alpha ministry re-born again! Can you imagine?! What an exciting prospect!
A thriving and dynamic church full of life. Who doesn’t want to attend a church like that? Who doesn’t want to pastor a church like that?!
Friends – there is great risk whether we engage in Revitalizing our churches or not. But which risk is the greater risk?
Simple math says that maintaining the status quo and trying to keep the peace is by far the greater risk.
The future of any church that chooses not to Revitalize is very bleak. But the church that takes the risk of “doing church in a way that reaches lost people” is a church that just might see God’s blessing, wisdom and anointing poured out to empower a congregation that has found its mission once again.
I know that these are challenging days to pastor a church. I know that we have many reasons to be frustrated and discouraged.
My head is not buried in the sand of the culture that I am raising my three teenagers in. But I also strongly believe that God’s church will endure and thrive and be a force of hope to our lost and dying world for our generation as it has for every single generation since its inception. Why? Because Jesus invented the Church, and He loves it with a white-hot love.
The church of Jesus Christ won’t die with a whimper.
Ours might, but His won’t. He will empower pastors who adaptand change and take the risk to serve His Great Commission. As the world around us grows darker, I remain steadfast in my belief that the future of the Church remains very, very bright.
God bless you, my friends. Never forget that you are not on this journey of ministry leadership alone. We are for you. We are with you. We are praying for you, and we are cheering you on.
We’re like Home Depot: “You can do it. We can help.” The future is bright.