If we’re going to strengthen and send churches to make Jesus known in West Virginia, the tip of the spear must include church revitalization.
Renewal Movements for Revitalization
Church revitalization is a process which moves a plateaued or declining church toward a healthy and sustained environment in which the following renewal movements and marks of health become a reality in the church:
*Source: Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today
Church revitalization is only a process and not a destination.
Our focus on overall church health and strengthening should transcend revitalization, especially for churches that don’t realize their need for revitalization.
In addition to waiting for churches to contact us, or attend a conference, we are going to pursue churches - all churches. Our focus is on building relationships with our churches. Only then can we walk them through personalized (not one-size fits all) church strengthening and revitalization recommendations. Only after earning their trust can we introduce them to other churches/pastors going through revitalization. We must take a long game vision approach - it’s not about winning battles, it’s about glorifying Christ and seeing these churches return to being a beacon of hope in their communities.
Churches should continually be revitalizing. As a convention we value the health of our churches, and join in the process of helping our churches grow in every way which is why we are so eager to see more churches throughout our state given a fresh breath of vitality.
Sadly, sometimes churches have no other option than closing their doors.
These churches can still make an eternal impact by gifting their building or the proceeds from the sale of their building to their association or other churches. We’ve seen examples of this in our state in recent years. In fact, two churches and an afterschool program have now been born out of that generosity.
Revitalizing a congregation that has grown stagnant or turned inward is often harder than planting a new church. But if we’re faithful to the churches God has given us, even the ailing ones, we may yet see him work in miraculous ways.
If you feel called to church revitalization or replanting, or your church is needing support, please email WVCSB Executive Director, Eric Ramsey, firstname.lastname@example.org.