The mentality of many churchgoers in America is, “What can the church do for me?” We live in a consumeristic society so it makes sense that believers living in America would shop for a church just like they would a pair of shoes.
My purpose for writing this post is to encourage believers seeking church membership to consider joining a church being revitalized. The word “revitalization” is the new buzzword in evangelical circles. However, many people don’t know what this word means much less the process a church will go through. Let me provide you with my definition:
From the outset, revitalization is a messy, difficult, and long process. So, why would anyone consider joining a church in the midst of going through a revitalization? I would like to offer you four reasons:
- God will grow you in this season. Churches don’t start dying overnight, and they typically don’t turn around in a short amount of time. Churches are declining or dying for a multitude of reasons, but no matter the reason, God will draw you closer to himself as you become a part of his healing process. You will learn how to fully depend on him. You will learn the value of prayer. You will learn how the gospel heals wounds, words, and wrongs done to and by you. On the positive side, you will see God work in amazing ways. When God works in these types of churches, you begin to see how marvelous and glorious the God we serve is.
- Many more opportunities to serve the body of Christ. Many people like to go to bigger churches because they don’t have to necessarily do the work of ministry. At a church being revitalized, you will have opportunities to serve in ways you never thought possible. God will stretch you by putting you in various ministry roles you never thought you were capable to perform, which causes you to depend on God even more. These types of churches will allow you the flexibility to try various ministries in order to find and groom your God-given gifts.
- Being part of a tighter community. Most churches being revitalized are not numerically large. In fact, worship attendance in these types of places are often quite small. When guests arrive, everyone–including the guests–know it. Churches being revitalized have tighter relationships because they are small enough to get to know one another on a personal level. To put it another way, people will get to know the real you and you will get to know the real them. This allows you and them to grow together and encourage one another through the Christian life.
- Being part of something bigger than yourself. As I mentioned in my definition, revitalization is a God process. Only God can turn a church that is dying around. However, we see throughout Scripture that God uses people who are faithful and seek him to do his work. In order for God to do this, he needs people who are willing to see themselves as gospel witnesses and devoted disciples of Christ to move his plan along in a dying church. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, this church will not have the latest and greatest programs. Yes, it will get uncomfortable. Yes, you will feel tension. But, churches being revitalized have three truths to cling to during this process: the gospel, the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit. By joining a church being revitalized, you will be a part of a God-sized movement.
This post is to make you consider not to convince you to join a church being revitalized. If you are actively involved in your local church, please stay where God has called you. However, if you are in a season of transition, consider joining a church being revitalized.
Disclaimer: I am not asking you to consider joining a church that is dying and doesn’t care. In fact, I would not try to convince you to join such a church. Nevertheless, God is at work in churches across the world because he loves his church–he did die for it after all (Acts 20:28). Maybe these 4 reasons will cause you to consider joining a church being revitalized for the glory of God and the advancement of his Kingdom.
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