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.