The Need for Church Revitalization
More than 4,000 churches in America close their doors each year. SBC churches close at a rate of 900 per year; more than 75% are in cities with growing populations (from "Flickering Lamps", Henry Blackaby, forward).
Why do we need to revitalize our churches? The Church is under siege!
The media mocks the church. In many locations, the government restricts the church. Satan attacks the church. Pastors and leaders are under attack. Sin permeates the church. Regularly attending members attend less regularly. A church can look alive on the outside but be dead. The community ignores the church.
Churches that Close Have Common Factors.
Churches that close often choose leadership personalities over a passion for the Gospel. They choose processes over outcomes. When the processes of operating the church (bylaws, committees, customs) become more important than the Great Commission, the church may be in trouble.
Churches that close often choose programs over personal responsibility. Churches blame the program for not making disciples when it is the people's responsibility! Also, churches often strive for self-preservation over the proclamation of the Gospel.
The Church Cannot Give Up!
Christ is the Head of his Church.
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
When leaders planted your church, they raised a banner for God’s glory in the community. What we have lost is the sense of the importance of the “community church.” Your church is in your community for a reason!
"But, my church is small!" Did you know that all of the pastors who preached to groups of 2000 or more last Sunday in our denomination could fit into a single jet plane? Small churches are the norm! Did you know that 83% of our churches are 250 or less in worship? More than 60% are under 100 in average worship.
We often get caught in unproductive ruts or cycles. One of the most memorable movies in my generation was Groundhog Day. Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, is forced to live the same day over and over again—until he gets it right. Pray that God will help you get out of your unproductive cycle. God can give you a fresh vision of what he may do through your church!
Please call me if I can help you begin a revitalization journey in your church!
Dr. Chris Crain, SCBA Director of Missions