Can a church be revitalized in four days?
This may sound a little optimistic, but many pastors actually try to revitalize their church in just one day: Sunday.
However, there should be some strategy to this process.
How we spend our working days between Sundays has the most impact on revitalization, according to Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) staff members Sandy Marks and Russ Reaves.
This transformation occurs through pastoral rhythms that don’t occur in four literal days, but in four days of every week of every month, year after year. These days turn into 40-plus hour work weeks with segmented blocks of morning, afternoon and evening hours.
The following are four ways pastors can concentrate their work weekly to help church revitalization:
There’s a popular saying “practice what you preach.” Just as pastors tell their congregations to study God’s Word, they need to be in it as well. Not only is this vital for their spiritual health, but it’s also vital for their sermon preparation and delivery. The time spent in preparation for a text-driven, Christ-centered message will likely be evident on Sunday morning.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all for discipling. There’s no formula, class or special technique behind it. Discipling simply comes down to a lifestyle that’s personal and relational. Jesus has called everyone to be disciple-makers, and personal discipleship should be a major role of pastors.
Shepherding means knowing and taking care of your flock, and the term “pastor” actually means shepherd. This relationship establishes trust and loyalty in churches, and it cultivates relationships essential for revitalization.
A church is to revitalize while it’s on mission, not revitalize and then go out on mission. This is where the gift of administration comes in as a huge help. The pastor’s role is to lead his people out on mission according to God’s vision and to guide the church to facilitate that momentum.
Looking at these concentrations, pastors can probably pull out their favorite task, along with their strengths and weaknesses among these roles. But before a pastor starts to “fix himself” according to this list, he must realize the perfect pastor doesn’t exist.
Instead, the best thing a pastor can do as a leader is to be aware of his strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to delegate or work through his weaknesses by receiving help from others. When it comes to church revitalization, it takes the whole body of Christ. But if you’re a pastor, it often starts with you.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was adapted from a podcast based on a breakout session that was delivered during the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s 2019 Annual Meeting. Listen to it here.