by John Vernon
As we consider revitalization of churches, one of the first questions we must address is how to determine if a church is in need of revitalization. Generally an outsider can see this much more clearly than a member of the church, given that local churches are autonomous congregations, the revitalization team comes alongside existing church leadership to determine the present state of the church. This will require church leaders to honestly assess the holistic state of the church and for the revitalization team to ask difficult questions.
The first meeting of the revitalization team and the church leadership will address the following topics:
- Vision of MBC Revitalization Network (MBRN)
- Initial Interview of Pastors and Leaders
- Identify Church’s Stage in Its Lifecycle (see previous blog)
- Decision regarding presenting to church a motion for beginning the Church Revitalization Explore Phase which is a series of assessments regarding leadership, the church, facilities, programs, and community around the church.
Share the MBRN Vision
- Seeing that churches are in decline or have plateaued across our State;
- Understanding the church has three fundamental identities: worshipers, family, missionaries;
- We desire to glorify God by starting a movement of revitalized churches across Missouri.
The Initial Interview
Ask the following questions in order to determine the current state of the church:
1. What are you most excited about in your church?
2. What are you most concerned about in the life of your church?
3. What are the current obstacles your church is facing?
4. What are your core ministries? Why are these your core?
5. What is the average age of the community around the church?
6. Baptisms in past 10 years?
Identify Church’s Stage in Its Life Cycle
Explain the stages of a church’s life cycle, identifying key characteristics and ask “Where would you place your church on the Life Cycle of a Church graph?”
- Pray…for workers, that there is a positive attitude for the renewal of their first love.
- Present a motion to the church to vote to proceed to the first phase of the revitalization process which conducts the assessments; and, if there is a positive vote, then have the church vote to create a leadership team to work with the revitalization team.