Revitalization is without question a biblical concept. It appears in reference to individuals and to communities. The call is to be transformed by the renewal of our mind, to see ourselves as made new in Christ. Revitalization means to be made new. Almost any church could use some revitalization, but many churches desperately need to be revitalized. See our writing on the 3 reasons your church needs revitalization to learn more. So what is church revitalization?
Looking Like the Church from Acts in Your Context
The primary purpose of revitalization is to look as much like the early church from the book of Acts in your context as possible. Context matters significantly. Context is the location, culture and time in history in which a church exists. It shapes our ministry, purpose and culture. While we must honor context, we have also been given a clear model of what the church should look like in any context. This model is seen in the book of Acts. In the formation and operation of the early church, we have the principles that should shape our churches. Churches embracing revitalization look more and more like the early church.
Experiencing Transformation in Jesus
The scripture calls us to continual renewal and transformation. Churches that experience revitalization also experience transformation. Our culture has demonized this word, and we must reclaim its scriptural value. While God does not change, the world does change and we as individuals change as we grow in our relationship with Jesus. Churches that embrace revitalization experience transformation into an even greater expression of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.
Finding Clarity of Call and Purpose
The primary call of a church is the great commission which is to make disciples. Every church that exists does so because God has allowed it to exist. It exists for a reason. The role of the church is to partner with the Holy Spirit to discern that reason and live into it. Most churches wander, focusing primarily on habit or being driven entirely by reaction to culture, members, loudest complainers or biggest givers. Without vision as Proverbs notes, the people perish. Every church that lacks vision will perish, and so many churches suffer an identity crisis. They are either stuck in who they are (which is often driven by a particular pastor or family) or are constantly being changed by the culture or the latest church fad. Each church must know and embrace its identity, mission and purpose. Every church exists in a time, space and location for a reason and that reason always involves serving the community in which they are placed. Churches that are revitalizing have a clarity of call, mission (purpose) and identity.
We are deeply passionate about helping churches and their leaders experience revitalization in Jesus Christ. You can learn more on our website.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director