I am passionate about church revitalization.
I think it’s important we don’t abandon stagnant or plateaued churches prematurely. God is a God of resurrection and he is certainly powerful enough to breathe new life into his churches.
But the reality is that church revitalization almost always requires resources. But where should those resources come from and how should denominations resource church revitalization for their churches?
Before we can begin to address how a denomination should resource church revitalization, first we must determine whether or not they ought to in the first place.
There’s a great need for revitalization among our churches, but revitalization is hard work. It’s difficult to do it on your own. Support from a local church’s denomination could help that church flourish during the revitalization process. There is value in not standing by and doing nothing as our congregations die, especially if they could benefit from our assistance.
So ultimately, yes, denominations should resource church revitalization.
More than funding
Resourcing isn’t always monetary. That’s key.
The reality is that most attempts at church revitalization fail. Funding church revitalization by sending money to churches needing revitalization simply has not worked. Every denomation that has tried that path has regretted (and reversed) that strategy. Many have poured huge amounts of money into revitalization and not see any progress.
Here is the cold reality. Most churches in need of revitalization will receive the funding offered, but not make the changes needed. They won’t do what it takes to bring new life to their church. Some churches in need of revitalization may actually work less urgently to revitalize themselves if they have monetary funding from their denomination.
Resourcing church revitalization by funding it is not necessarily the most effect method of supporting your stagnant churches.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer