Despite the tough reality many congregations face today, I remain an obnoxious optimist as we move into 2019. Just yesterday, I received an email about a church that I thought was headed for closure. Through a series of God-blessed events, the church has turned the corner and will remain a presence in the community.
That one anecdote has been a common theme for so many congregations: there is hope. God is not done with us yet. And here are ten reasons why:
- More church leaders are admitting their churches are struggling. On the surface, this reason seems more like a reason for pessimism. I don’t see it that way. You can’t begin to get healthy until you admit you are not healthy. It is a vital first step.
- Churches are increasingly connecting with their communities. They are breaking out of their holy huddles and becoming a witness and a positive presence in the neighborhoods and towns where God has placed them.
- There is significant evidence of greater Great Commission obedience. We recently conducted a survey of 1,700 church leaders. The number one area where they are seeking to improve is evangelism and outward focus.
- Toxic church behavior is less tolerated. Many churches struggle because issues such as bullying and toxic leadership are swept under the rug. Just yesterday I spoke with a pastor who was celebrating the reality that we talk about these issues openly and frankly.
- Church revitalization has become a major movement. This one reason excites me beyond measure. Such is the reason I created the non-profit organization, Revitalize Network. I wanted a place where we could connect and help one another.
- More young pastors feel called to lead a church revitalization. Related to the revitalization movement is the incredible number of young leaders who are and will be leading churches toward revitalization. I can’t wait to see what God will do!
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer