Revitalizing a Fading Church

By Paul Johnson
CNBC Team Leader, Church Strengthening

I've been researching church revitalization/replanting (much overlap but not the same). Thom Rainer's podcasts (30:00) have been stimulating. Does your church needs a turn-around? Here's a sampler, starting with a Q&A, with Thom Rainer and my good friend John-Mark Clifton (great friends get an IH cap, I understand). Intriging, sometimes the best way to help people with good intentions is to tell them they are doing a bad job.

When to revitalize? Among the reasons, when attendance stagnates or declines and when conflicts increase. Here's six rarely noticed signs of a dying church, including the commute and worn-out ministries.  Some churches don't realize they're dying. Why? Two of the reasons, they're in denial and they compare themselves with worse churches. Why do churches resist revitalization? These pertain, fear and power groups. These too, we have money in the bank and we still have visitors coming. Why do some churches choose death over revitalization? These reasons among others, we are angry and we thought we had the siliver bullet.

What does a turn-around pastor need? Rainer lists five traits, including hope and a supportive family. Why do they need coaching? A great answer: if you're coaching a pastor your #1 job is encouraging them. Too many pastors are starving for encouragement. The one major unspoken barrier to revitalization, simply stated, neither the members nor the pastor want to put forth the effort.

A retrospective, seven ways congregations avoided dying. Two are committing to powerful prayer, and the realization, there are toxins in churches, and when left in the church toxins will be fatal over time.

Much more at Revitalize-Replant.


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