Thom S. Rainer: 10 Reasons Why I Remain Optimistic About Churches in 2019

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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