Q&A 2: Should I Be Involved in a Church Revitalization Initiative?

10.4.2011

Question 2: I really feel called to church revitalization. There’s an opportunity in my city to join a brother at a church in our neighborhood and start that work. My church, where I’ve been for 7 years, is not too excited about it. I really value their input, want to submit to their plans, and believe God uses the church to affirm callings, so this is a hard place for me to be in. There are 3 or 4 who are supportive and excited about it. Any advice?

Reply: I am grateful for all who have a calling for church revitalization. I believe it would be a tragedy to surrender billions of dollars of assets that were built by our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Many churches are on the verge of shutting their doors, and we have a propitious moment to reach out and seek to change the course of their trajectory. Of course, we cannot revitalize churches that are not interested in revitalization. In those instances, and tragically so, they will die of their own choosing. If I were a part of a church that was not interested in reaching out to a hurting congregation, I think I would look for another church. I want to be a part of a church that is passionate about the Great Commission. I want to be a part of a church that wants to help plant new churches as well as revive plateaued and dying churches. I agree that God uses the church to affirm our callings, but I have a hard time believing that God would not want us to be involved in helping plant churches and revitalize dying ones, especially when they invite us to come and help them! You shared that there are 3 or 4 who are supportive and excited about this. Then I would join them and go. I would get involved in helping that church turn around for the glory of God. I would do so humbly, with an open ear and with a commitment to above all things love this people in the direction they need to go. They don’t need a dictator or a “know it all” coming in to tell them how to do it. They need a loving shepherd who will guide them in the ways of the Lord.

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  1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Adams   •  

    Dr. Akin, I am a former student (SEBTS). I felt the deep need to respond to your post. You wrote, “I really feel called to church revitalization.” I can affirm that this feeling is from the very heart of our Father who loves and cares for His creation more than “wanting for approval from the local church” on such an urgent matter. Indeed, the heart of God is love and the heart of the Gospel is love. How can we love if we stay silent? May the Lord bless and guide you as you “help plant churches and revitalize dying ones.” I will be praying for you each day. Thank you and SEBTS for enabling me to become who I am in the Lord today.

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