bits from bob....

Revitalizing the Church

by Robert J. Young
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Robert Dale suggests there are four ways to revitalize a church. The easiest way is policy change, adjustments in structure that change the way things are done. A second possibility is to change personnel. Change can also be wrought through new programs. This option is frequently used when churches are tired and need new energy.
The most basic approach to genuine, long-lasting, re-energizing change, however, is in Dale's fourth method--changing purpose, or more correctly, clarifying or redefining purpose.

New dreams awaken us. Goals which reflect our dreams and our basic beliefs provide unbelievable motivation. A church which defines and acts on a fundamental purpose is vibrant and alive. The eventual outcome of the dreamless church is ether plateau, decline, or death. Without intervention, all three will come in order.

How can tired churches be revitalized? How can the struggle for survival be won?

1. Healthy church are proactive rather than reactive.
Healthy people take the initiative with an anticipatory, forward-looking spirit, rather than reacting to the crises of the moment in a spirit of helplessness and despair.

2. Healthy churches intentionally initiate actions consistent with their hopes rather than simply responding to the urgent trivia of the moment.

3. Healthy churches build upon and are renewed by their dreams.
Healthy churches have a strong sense of mission and purpose which gives identity and meaning to their work. The only other option is to doubt the church to death.

4. Healthy churches look outward and find meaning in ministry to others.
The church that must always be ministered to is unhealthy, and unlikely to prosper.

Will you join us as we seek new energy in new dreams? Identity, purpose, meaning and community find new definition and application as we anticipate the future and purposefully plan for growth. You will find personal renewal as the church finds new vibrancy and vitality. I promise.

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Last updated January 7, 2002.