Changing the mindset of the residual membership can often be very difficult. Senior adults occupy most of these restart candidate churches for which change is often hard to come by. Until the church is ready to make drastic changes, it is useless to become involved. There are thousands of churches like this all over America: Some are Baptists, others are Methodists, even in the Assembly’s you can find them, Presbyterians, the Lutherans have them, Congregational, Christian, and many others, waiting for a mission-minded congregation to get involved in offering “new life.” There is a tremendous need to recreate the mindset of the remaining member in renewing church.
One startling phenomena is there are churches today that as the laity begin to depart this life often see nothing wrong with taking the church to the grave as well. Their motto could be: Would the last one alive, please turn the lights off! That was never part of God’s plan for the very thing He gave up His life.
For the last 20 years, there has been a great deal of focus around the world on evangelism through church planting. Tens of thousands of people are coming to Christ each day around the world. Thousands of new churches are planted every week. We thank God for this spectacular growth!
However, there has not been corresponding attention given to the revitalization and renewal of our churches on the home front during this time. Consequently, today we have an increasing deficit of church revitalizers and a shortage of committed renewal leaders within our existing churches! As more and more Godly men are going into church planting we have a crisis of pastors and ministry leaders seeking to lead the declining church out of its challenges and obstacles. We need new leaders and better-trained leaders in the area of church revitalization and renewal.
But hear me in this, if it were just about making a better leader we have so many Christian leadership groups training and individuals going to weekly or monthly meetings and yet the pace of decline has not been slowed by building a better ministry leader to serve as pastor and shepherd. Clearly, our conventional methods and established approaches of leader development simply have not delivered either the quantity or quality of leaders that today’s plateaued or rapidly declining churches need. We cannot keep building leaders the same way while merely trying to do it faster and on a larger scale.
It would be careless and irresponsible for us to simply rejoice in the great harvest of souls that is happening today through the planting of churches without addressing the issue of the development of Church Revitalizers for our churches across the state of Florida! If we do not take this seriously and address the issue of plateau and declining churches in a generation or two much of today’s glorious harvest may be lost. More of the same will not do! We need to transform the way today’s church revitalizers are trained.