This past week we had Kenneth Priest speak at our Executive Board meeting. Kenneth is the interim director of the Center for Church Revitalization at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Kenneth has been deeply involved in the revitalization movement for over 20 years and we appreciate the wisdom he shared with us last Monday.
As our Church Revitalization Team begins its work within our association, we recognize several things: 1. There is a great need for revitalization in churches across our association, state, and nation. 2. Revitalization is not just for small churches, but churches of all sizes may find themselves in need of some level of revitalization. 3. The work of revitalization is hard on all levels. 4. God must move for revitalization to happen in a local church. 5. Effective revitalization requires more than just the pastor, we need ministry partners to work together to make it happen.
We see collaboration happening on several levels by churches of all kinds. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is only the work of large churches or only the work of churches with multiple staff members. There are ways for many churches to collaborate to help other churches through the process of revitalization. Here are some ideas for you to think about:
- Prayer Partner – your church commits to pray for a particular church going through the process and work of revitalization. You pray every week, by name, for that church and that pastor. You pray for specific needs as you become aware of them. Your pastor is available to serve as a mentor for the revitalization pastor.
- Level 2 Partner – we’ll probably come up with some cool name for this later 🙂 – your church commits to pray every week and you contribute financially every month to the work of revitalization in a particular church. Your pastor is available to serve as a mentor for the revitalization pastor.
- Level 3 Partner – your church commits to pray every week and you send resources to a particular church in the process of revitalization. These resources could be financial, material, or people (i.e. leadership). Your pastor is involved in mentoring the revitalization pastor.
- Level 4 Partner – your church commits to pray every week and you take full leadership in the work of revitalization in a particular church.
Our team is continuing to work out the details of what this would look like but these are general ideas of what it would mean to be a partner in church revitalization. One thing that I think we will insist on is that once a church has gone through the process of revitalization they must partner with another church going through the process. This is part of being in association with one another. The Baptist Association is not about meetings and budgets; it is all about working together, supporting one another, encouraging and exhorting one another, and being “the church” to one another.
If you and your church are interested in being a Revitalization Partner on any level, please contact me. Let’s sit down and talk about what partnership means and discuss how your church would like to move forward.
Before we begin the process of revitalizing churches we want to have a number of partners enlisted and be able to effectively match partners to churches. When good partners are matched with willing leadership we can work together to see God do a new work to His glory.