7 Vital Components Needed for Church Revitalization to be Effective

by | Jun 30, 2022 | Church Health, Church Revitalization

My first church after entering vocational ministry needed revitalization. Since then I have been a part of church planting and several revitalization efforts. Just as planting comes with unique challenges, I have learned to be successful there are some vital and necessary components in church revitalization.

I fell in love with the energy of starting something new in church planting. At the same time, I continued to be concerned for churches that have seen better days. I became more convinced we need new energy in both.

This experience of church revitalization has given me the tremendous blessing and opportunity, fueled by this blog platform, to speak not only to church planters but also to those who are attempting church revitalization.

Granted, the Holy Spirit must show up and God must be glorified, but I n general terms, there are components in church revitalization, which I believe need to be in place to be effective.

 

7 vital components in church revitalization:

 

Admitting you need to revitalize

 

This is hard for many churches. I remember shortly after I arrived at one church an older member of the church visited another church that had undergone revitalization. She saw the excitement and came back with a new understanding. Her comment to one of our staff members was, “We have to change some things, don’t we? We don’t have a choice!” The church as a whole must come to this level of understanding.

 

Letting go of the right to control

 

This is what makes or breaks revitalization in many churches. If the “No Change Allowed” sign is hung – or even the “but not that change” – on issues which aren’t even Biblical, then revitalizing the church will be very difficult.

 

A vision of something better

 

What’s next for this church? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? There must be a compelling vision, such as loving a community for Christ and clear avenues for people to be involved in reaching the vision.

 

A history worth revitalizing

 

This will be the toughest part of this post. There are some toxic churches that seem to have never been healthy. They’ve run off every pastor they’ve called. Many of these churches wouldn’t follow Jesus well either. They are stuck in systems and personal agendas – usually run by a few people – and aren’t going to budge. (I realize this is a cruel statement, but it is sadly a very repeated reality.)

 

Leadership willing to lead change

 

This is more than the pastor. In many cases, the pastor is only the figurehead of vision and change. Change is hard. It requires trusted leaders within the church willing to step up and lead alongside the pastor.

Sometimes the pastor may be popular but hasn’t earned the level of trust longer-term members have. The pastor needs these people to help guide change and stand up to the naysayers. Collective leadership is so important – always – but especially in the early days of revitalization.

 

The tenacity to weather storms

 

It won’t be easy. It’s far easier to start something than to try to grow again after a period of decline. The longer the decline the longer it will take to see revitalization. Some pastors, leaders, and churches have the patience. Some don’t.

 

A few committed people

 

You need some people already established in the church – not just leadership – who love the church more than their personal agenda. These might be leaders or might not. The church needs people willing to embrace a new future. These people have to support the pastor, speak up for the changes and create an atmosphere conducive to growth again. (It might be helpful to think like the core group of a church plant here. You’re rebuilding.)

Well, those are my candid observations. They aren’t based solely on opinion, but they certainly aren’t a product of extensive research either. They are derived from my experience and hundreds of conversations with other pastors and my own personal experience.

Check out my leadership podcast where we hopefully help limit bad decisions and discuss issues of leadership in a practical way. Plus, check out the other Lifeway Leadership Podcasts.

 

Read More About Ron Edmondson

Read more blog posts from Ron Edmondson (churchplanting.com)

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Ron Edmondson

I am CEO of Leadership Network. I was previously pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches. I am passionate about planting churches but also helping established churches thrive. I love assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy, and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders. I have more than 35 years of leadership experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and have been in full-time ministry for over 15 years. I have successfully led the restart of one church and the planting of two churches, and now we are seeing God’s hand tremendously in church revitalization. I have a seminary masters and a master’s in organizational leadership. I also once helped lead (as an elected official) a mid-sized city, where I served as Vice Mayor and Finance Chair. The greatest times for me are with my wife Cheryl and our amazing adult sons, Jeremy, his wife Mary, and our youngest son Nate. Over 20 years ago, I founded a non-profit ministry called Mustard Seed Ministry, which provides devotional resources, conducts family, marriage, and parenting, and church leadership seminars. My INTJ personality on the Myers-Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love creative and critical thinking and I love to see progress. I am usually around people but crave downtime. For years I was usually training for either a half or full marathon. Running was my most productive thinking time. Knee problems in recent years have caused me to stop running, but I’m committed to finding the time I need to fuel my mind, body, and spirit. I write several times weekly on leadership, church, and family. To sign up for my blog on a reader or by email, click HERE. I do interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me. You can email me at ron.edmondson@gmail.com.I am also on Google+ at http://www.gplus.to/ronedmondson, Twitter at www.twitter.com/ronedmondson and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ronaedmondson. My devotional site is www.mustardseedministry.com