Revitalize Your Church
Let’s return to the Yeah, but … reason you thought of to explain why your church will have difficulty in becoming a comeback church.
While the factors discussed in this chapter are not the most significant issues in church revitalization, they still provide nuggets of information from the gold mine of revitalization.
“Yeah, but … our facility.” Does it need to be remodeled? Overhauled? Started over? Facilities can contribute significantly to a comeback, depending on your context. Maybe your church doesn’t need to move or build new buildings. But, you may need to remodel or revitalize what you already have. Whatever the condition, size, or configuration of your facilities, make certain you’re vision driven and values guided in their use!
“Yeah, but … our marketing.” Why not try an “Outreach Day,” with excellent invitations and direct mail? You will be surprised at the number of people who will bring and include others if they are just given the tools and encouragement to do it.
“Yeah, but … I don’t have time to read.” You don’t have time not to read. Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. It will prove beneficial to pay attention to the books and resources used by comeback leaders. If they discovered principles that helped in their churches’ revitalizations, you’ll find help in those resources as well.
“Yeah, but … if my people were more responsive to growth.” Spend some time getting to know them and their sphere of influence. If you really care about people and their needs, it will tremendously influence them to invite others to your church.
Furthermore, people are important. Comeback leaders know this, and they carefully, prayerfully, and intentionally identify people who can make a positive impact in their churches. May that remind us to place a higher value on the people we serve—and those with whom we serve.
“Yeah, but … our church has no resources … no opportunities … too mired in tradition … not in the right area … strong-willed people … history of conflict … troublesome deacons or elders … doesn’t want change.” While these are certainly formidable problems, remember that we serve a mighty and invincible God. Others faced seemingly insurmountable problems in ministry, yet became comeback churches.
“Yeah, but … it’s not going to be easy.” Of every “yeah, but …” that paralyzes our minds and our hearts, this is the only one that has merit. Nothing that’s worthwhile ever is easy. When did God ever call anyone to an easy task? He calls us to a worthy task. Jesus didn’t take the easy way, and neither should we.
Whether young or old, large or small, any church can experience revitalization and renewal. Your church can experience a comeback—and it begins with you. Trust God to do the impossible one more time!
Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson, Comeback Churches: How 300 Churches Turned around and Yours Can, Too (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2007).