While every church can benefit from some revitalization, there are specific instances where churches may have a higher need for revitalization. The three biggest reasons a church might need revitalization are lack of clarity/purpose, high levels conflict/crisis, or if they are plateaued/declining.
Lack of Clarity or Purpose
Lack of clarity or confusion is a killer for organizations, including and perhaps especially so for churches. Confusion is a hinderance to health. When churches lack clarity, they have no focus and tend to wander. Lack of clarity leads to reactivity and additional conflict. A lack of purpose leaves a church aimless. Energy and resources are wasted with no clear end goal in mind. Oftentimes, churches get stuck in the routine with no real understanding of the purpose of their ministry, often being shaped by personality, rather than their call and mission.
High Levels of Conflict or Crisis
Churches with significant conflict are in need of revitalization. Conflict is the greatest killer of churches. Churches compound the problem by handling conflict poorly or not at all. Conflict creates anxiety, division, and hurt. Churches experiencing a significant crisis are also in need of revitalization. In these cases, it is difficult to move through the conflict or crisis and pivot to revitalization without outside help.
The Church has Plateaued or is Declining
The vast majority (at least 90%) of churches in the United States are plateaued or declining. A plateaued church is one that has stopped growing, or one whose rate of attrition equals its rate of growth. In most churches, this means swapping people or having the birth and death rate even out. A church that is declining is losing more people than it is gaining. Most churches in the United States (around 70%) are declining. Churches who are not growing for whatever reasons are in need of revitalization.
We often underestimate our need for revitalization in the church. We also forget how powerful habit, muscle memory, and culture are in our churches. We desire to help churches revitalize and find new life in Jesus. Contact us to learn more.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director