Thursday, October 26, 2006

Revitalizing a Church

It starts with the Pastor. This isn't just for revitalizing a church. I'm still thinking this through, but I think these are four essentials that every pastor, every church ought to have in place.

1. Spiritual Depth -- Jesus often went to a lonely place to pray. A pastor and the elders need to be digging their own spiritual depth. They need to read the Bible and reflect. They need to "ooze" Jesus. They will get to a point, you can't be around them without getting some Jesus on them. There are no shortcuts. It is a daily routine of Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection. I use the SOAP method to journal.

2. Love Bank Investments -- Willard Harley writes about the Love Bank in his book, "His Needs/Her Needs" about marriage. You need to be sacrificial for your mate in ways that he or she needs (not just what you want to do) and build some trust and appreciation for you. A pastor and elders need to do this. They need to be givers of the love of God for people. Most of my investments come from hospital visits or funerals. It comes from coffee in a casual setting. It comes when someone feels they can share the difficulties of their life, and you put your hand on their shoulder and pray for them. It comes as they believe you are more concerned about them then furthering your career or making a name for yourself.

3. Leadership -- Leadership is critical because people don't like to change. They need a seasoned guide. You need to hone your leadership skills. You need to lead.

4. Culturally Meaningful Ministries -- You have to figure out how your service and your ministries can make sense to the community and to your people. I'm not sure how you can totally change your worship to something that your people can't stand so that you can reach new people. It sounds right to reach out but if your people resent them when they come, what have you created.

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