The “RevitalizeNC” podcast, aimed at addressing timely topics related to church health and revitalization, launched today (March 15).

In each episode, host Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, will interview a ministry leader about a topic or issue related to church revitalization. In the first installment, Chuck Lawless, vice president of spiritual formation at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the role of spiritual warfare in church health and revitalization.

Here is an excerpt from this podcast:

“If we don’t look at the spiritual factors, we’ll be missing a primary sense of what we’re called to do and to be. That really led into my interest in spiritual warfare. Frankly, my interest in spiritual warfare began for me personally thinking in terms of how do I best walk with the Lord in a way that threatens the enemy. And then as I looked at churches and saw the enemy just attacking church after church after church and pastor after pastor, it just drove me to the text. And you open up the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation you see that there is a very real enemy who fights against us,” Lawless said.

“(In) Ephesians 6, Paul is very clear that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. From the Garden on, the powers have sought to divide us, to mislead us so that we teach false doctrine, to distract us from the work of evangelism, to lead us to operate in our own strength so we lack the power of God. And what we must do as churches if we are going to move into revitalization, we have to recognize the schemes of the enemy without getting focused on him. Because it’s really easy to talk about spiritual warfare and you find a demon behind every rock. The Scriptures won’t let us go there. I want us to see, Yes, the enemy is real, but equally so, the enemy is a defeated foe, and we can live in victory.”

New episodes will be released every other month. For more information and details on how to subscribe, click here.

by BSCNC Communications

Happy New Year! I know that those are welcome words for many of us, myself included. Given the events of the past year, we are all ready to return to some semblance of normal, although normal will undoubtedly look different than it has in the past. Most people say they are tired and weary about how much of life has been altered since March of 2020. I resonate with Paul’s writing in Philippians 3:13, “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to those things that are ahead….” 
When we consider all the unwanted changes that congregations have had to accept this past year, it becomes obvious why disagreements between fellow church members and church leaders about how we function as a church family can become contentious. 

Excerpt from this podcast:

Have you stopped to realize who in the church is expected to maintain peace, keep everyone happy and convince the membership to cooperate together in carrying out the mission of the church? Who is the person that is caught in the middle and placed in a no-win predicament because everyone cannot have what they want? That individual is the pastor.

Early last fall, Thom Rainer published an article on his Church Answers website titled, “Six Reasons Your Pastor is About to Quit.” 
According to Rainer, some of those reasons include general weariness and fatigue from the ongoing impact and effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives and ministries. Pastors are discouraged about the degree of discord, division and disagreement within the congregations about how best to navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, as well as other issues of our day. Pastors are also discouraged by an increased amount of criticism that they receive, either directly or indirectly.

Editor’s Note: Josh Reed serves as a senior consultant for Adult Evangelism and Discipleship and Georgie Robinson serves as associate professor of missions and evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.