4 kinds of pastors whose churches need revitalizing

January 29, 2019

Revitalization is one of those things pastors Google when no one else is looking. As I travel across the state, I meet pastors who minister in a variety of contexts — rural, urban, small, large, plants and even replants.

Some of these pastors know their church is in need of revitalization, but others do not. Here are four types of pastors that I typically meet.

“As pastors, leaders or church members, we may feel that the need for revitalization is equivalent to admitting defeat or failure.”

The inexperienced pastor
Some struggling pastors remind me of when I was young and fresh out of seminary, excited to begin a vibrant ministry where people’s lives are radically transformed by the power of the gospel as I had experienced in my own life. I loved to delve into the Word of God and proclaim it boldly to the church. But, I was unprepared to deal with difficulties that arose in the church as a vision and commitment to reach the community was introduced.

The anxious pastor
Other times, I meet pastors who are full of anxiety, their minds replaying harsh words from a conference or meeting the night before, and they wonder whether they should pray for conflict resolution or simply update their resume.

The passive pastor
Then there’s the pastor who knows his church is plateaued or declining but fears he would appear untrained or inadequate if he admitted his need for someone to walk alongside him through the revitalization process.

The discouraged pastor
Finally, there are the pastors who give everything to ministry. They spend every waking (and some when they should be sleeping) moment preparing and doing ministry though the joy of their salvation has long since departed. Between the hustle and bustle of committee meetings, sermon preparation, larger denominational meetings and hospital visits, they have become isolated from family, friends and even their church family.

What do these pastors and churches have in common? The need for revitalization training.

Revitalization shouldn’t be a dirty word. As pastors, leaders or church members, we may feel that the need for revitalization is equivalent to admitting defeat or failure. On the contrary, embracing a revitalization process is not evidence of failure but rather demonstrates great courage and commitment to glorify God through making disciples.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina is here to assist you and your church in all aspects of the revitalization process. Visit ncbaptist.org/revitalize to learn more.


by Sandy Marks  
Church Health and Revitalization  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Why you should open your home this holiday season

The end of the year is often marked by a seemingly endless barrage of family gatherings, cookie swaps, white elephant gift exchanges, office parties and more. The holidays cause some to stress out and wonder if they can fit everything in. Others experience profound sadness as they...

4 things to share with your children about Christmas

There are many wonderful insights to glean from the biblical accounts of Christ’s birth. Here are four truths for you and your family to ponder this Christmas season. Jesus is the reason for Christmas.Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, never overlooked the fact that Christ’s birth...

Top 5 resources for December 2019

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Thankful for NC Baptists’ generosity in missions giving

Many things come to mind when I think of North Carolina Baptists, but one word that rises to the top is generosity. North Carolina Baptists are generous people, and I don’t take for granted the prayers, the personal involvement through volunteer missions and the financial...

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering transforms lives

If you grew up in a Southern Baptist church, you probably associate the name Lottie Moon with the Christmas season. Lottie Moon — the namesake of Southern Baptists’ international missions offering — has become a legend. But in her time, Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero....

3 common objections to family discipleship

In Deuteronomy 6:7, Moses commands parents to “impress” God’s Word into the lives of their children. Then, he gives instructions on how to actually make that happen within the rhythms of each day. He says, “Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,...

A Christmas resource with families in mind

Why did Jesus need to come to Earth? This is just one of the thought-provoking questions included in this brand new Advent family devotional surrounding the coming of Christ to the world. “Advent” means coming or arrival, and Family Advent Devotions, developed by the Faith at Home...

Better together: Missionaries and churches need each other

Recently, I spent a week in Europe with a missionary family from our church. For over 10 years, we have partnered with and supported this family as they labor in a very difficult mission field. While there, I attended a newly formed church that, by God’s grace, they had planted....

2 Comments

  1. Kelton Hinton

    Sandy, I am a part of a group of leaders from across the nation who offer a “Turn-Around Pastor Bootcamp” to any pastor who wants to learn how to turn a church around. We did our first one last year here in the Johnston Baptist Association and of the five pastors who participated, EVERY ONE of them posted gains in worship attendance by the Fall! I would love to share with you more about this process! By the way, as of this past year, 44% of the churches in the JBA posted gains in worship attendance by 2% or more over their 2017 figures! This is a result of a combination of factors. On the congregation side, 1) the implementation of our JBA Revisioning Process during the interim period between pastors (24 declining churches served so far, 60% OF THEM NOW GROWING IN WORSHIP ATTENDANCE!), and 2) the education of our Pastor Search Committees in what to look for in a “growth” pastor (based upon my doctoral research). And on the pastor side of the equation, 3) the help from our TAP Bootcamp (see above). Would love to share more with you on any of the above resources!

    Reply
  2. Sandy Marks

    Kelton,

    That is outstanding news! I am excited about what God is doing in the Johnston association. I am still processing through all the information you shared with me in our meeting there at your office. I have had opportunity to speak of your approach with several other associations. Thanks for your leadership with NC Baptist churches and your partnership in ministry.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!