Revitalization is the action of instilling something with new life and vitality. According to recent research conducted by the Rainer Group, 9 out of 10 (90%) churches in America need revitalization. They are either declining (finances, attendance and morale) or growing more slowly than the communities in which, they are located. In other words, most churches are losing ground in their communities.
But, in the midst of all the bad news about churches, this same study showed that some churches are growing despite the seeming overwhelming revitalization challenges. These growing churches have 6 factors in common.
- They are highly intentional about starting new groups. The fewest groups started by any one of the churches were four in a one-year period. These churches were serious about new groups, and most of them saw that, as the primary source of turnaround growth.
- They have a culture of inviting people. People started coming to their churches simply because they were invited. This type of invitation was personal, from a member to someone else. Some of the churches had a big event, “invite-a-friend-day,” to kickoff this new culture of inviting.
- They have new member classes. These classes set the tone for new members. They established the expectations for new members. After a few months of these classes, many of the pastors begin to notice a change of attitude toward the positive among the members.
- They have a major community ministry. Some of the churches “adopted” local schools. Some of the leaders made appointments with key civic leaders to find out how their churches could best help the community. In all cases, church members got out of the comfort of the church buildings and went into the community to serve others.
- They pray for the lost and unchurched by name. For many of the churches, this type of praying was a first. Most of them attested that it seemed awkward at first, but it later became a part of their Great Commission culture.
- The leaders focus less on negative circumstances and more on God’s possibilities. The leaders became, in God’s power, people of faith instead of people of fear. This spirit of faith became contagious in the churches. Many of the churches saw a negative and unbelieving church culture become a positive and faith-believing culture.
Greater Mt. Sinai, I am asking you to join me in 2018 in making GMSBC the best church we can be as we reach people with the love and the power of the gospel. Let’s overcome together and move forward together in His power and might! Let us do a great work…..together!
Rev. Dr. Major Stewart, Pastor
Greater Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
Sunday, January 14, 2018