The year was 520 BC. The temple in Jerusalem remained in ruins. God had provided the resources for the people to rebuild the temple, but they used them for their own selfish desires (Haggai 1:4).
God addressed the issue in two primary ways. First, He spoke to three key leaders for them to be His catalysts for rebuilding (Haggai 1:1-2). Second, God commanded the people of Judah to change their behaviors, to move from selfish behavior to selfless behavior. They obeyed (Haggai 1:12). They rebuilt the house of God (Haggai 1:14).
Two Foundational Issues
Like the rebuilding of the temple, there are two foundational issues that must be addressed in church revitalization. First, the church must have the right leaders on board. Second, the behavioral patterns of the church members must change.
No infusion of methodologies or innovations can take place until these two issues are addressed. Such is the reason most revitalizations fail, and only a few succeed. Let’s look at that reality in light of three approaches.
Three Types of Church Revitalization
Most church revitalization attempts use the least effective approach. There, of course, are good reasons for that reality. That will be apparent in the descriptions below.
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Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, he served at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twelve years where he was the founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism. He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Alabama and earned his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.