Church Planters are one of my favorite groups of people on the planet. They are risk-takers, radical, and bold. They understand that when God calls you to a situation, He does it because He knows that He has equipped you for the success that is ahead for His kingdom. The building of the church has very little to do with us in its construction (Matthew 16:18). Jesus is building His church. Our responsibility is to obey the call wherever that may lead.
Jesus is building His church. Click To Tweet
Many times, church planters are called to start new things, new works. But what happens when God calls you to help Him breathe new life into something that already exists but may be stagnant, dying, or near death? The statistics for churches closing and pastors leaving the ministry are staggering – scary, actually. How can we reach the next generation for Christ if so many churches are closing their doors and so many pastors are leaving the ministry? Planting new churches across the country is vital; however, keeping existing churches from closing their doors is just as important.
Rebuilding or revitalizing a church is not easy, and I believe that it takes a special call from God and a special anointing to accomplish it. I have found that there are some realities you need to face if God has called you to this daunting task. You are God’s person for the job! He called you and equipped you, so trust him. Here are some things that I have learned over the past three years as I have walked through this process of rebuilding and revitalizing a church.
1. BE A REALIST, YOU WILL CRY!
I can honestly say I have cried a lot over the past few years. It is hard to believe that it has been that long since I first felt the overwhelming sense that God was calling me to New England. It could not have been any clearer if God had written it in the sky for all to see. But with that call came the reality that I was leaving a church and a work that I loved. I had poured my life into supporting my Pastor, team, and the people of our church; and my family and I had formed many deep bonds and relationships there. Yet God was calling us to leave our church family and the comfort of our situation and go to a place where we knew no one and to a church that was in desperate need. We cried, and we cried a lot. But God showed me throughout the process that we were not saved for comfort, but for conformability. Are we ready to conform to His will for our lives, even if it means being uncomfortable?...we were not saved for comfort, but for conformability. Click To Tweet
Once we arrived at our new church, God broke us for the people and the area around us. I still weep over the people and the needs around me and the fact that there never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. Rebuilding a church is tough, and there will be times when you cry. Know that it’s okay. God will sustain you and will give you the strength you need to accomplish the task, even when it feels impossible.
Stay Tuned for Part 2….