Church Revitalization

What is church revitalization?

Turning a plateaued or declining church around and moving it back towards growth, is the missional work of church revitalization. It is led through a Church Revitalization Initiative, in which a local church begins to work on the renewal of the church with a concerted effort to see the ministry revitalized and the church become healthy. Church Revitalization means that the local church was, at one time, vital and must once again, learn to renew, revitalize, and re-establish the health and vitality of their church ministry.

Why revitalize?

  • The Great Commission
  • Your church has stopped growing
  • Your church is growing but has stopped making a difference in the community
  • Your church no longer addresses the Mission Field
  • Church members are more interested in going to church than being The Church

Does this sound like your church?

  1. Your church is structured to make change difficult (but not impossible): 
    Does your church have multiple levels of bureaucracy involving multiple committees and boards and the entire congregation votes for change of any significance? This makes changes involving vision or ministry strategy particularly difficult unless the church is willing to shift its governance to one that empowers leaders; change comes from the people and leaders within.
  2. Your church is serving inside rather than outside: 
    Does your church design its ministry around the preferences of the people who are already connected to the church rather than for the people the church is trying to reach?
  3. Focus is on the next Sunday service: 
    Sundays (or the next event) are always coming and tend to get the most attention. We get so busy and wrapped up in the next thing, there’s no time to ask, Are we helping people become more like Jesus?
  4. There’s no accountability for lack of growth: 
    When business leaders don’t produce, they get fired. When coaches don’t win games, they get fired. There are churches who have not had a profession of faith or baptism in years. As long as the right style of worship with the right length of message occurs on time every Sunday, that’s the win. It doesn’t matter if no one is giving their life to Jesus. When there is no accountability, there will be no change.

What next?

Below, find the tools and resources to help you take the next steps in your church revitalization process.


Revitalization Tools & Resources
 

A FRESH EXPRESSION is quite simply a fresh expression of church. Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church – the presentation of the gospel and church in context – alongside existing congregations in order to reach changing, diverse cultures and world. At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society in order to share a message that is transformative. It’s reclaiming our Wesleyan heritage -- taking Church to the people and changing local faith communities of the Mississippi Conference back into growing, vital communities of faith, mission and outreach.

For more information, click here.



READINESS 360 is an online survey assessment tool that assesses four critical capacities for multiplying thriving ministries: Spiritual Intensity, Dynamic Relationships, Missional Alignment and Cultural Openness. The resulting report provides valuable information essential to knowing which areas are thriving and which areas need more attention.

READINESS 360+ is the online survey PLUS a 12-month process of learning, partnered with a coach. 

For more information, click here.


PARAGRAPH 213  
Churches today are at a crossroads as to how to fruitfully and effectively share the message and love of Jesus Christ to transform lives, the communities in which we live, and the world. Paragraph 213 in the 2016 Book of Discipline, describes a foundational process of discovering a congregation’s identity and mission field. 

For more information, click here.


 
DISCOVERING THE POSSIBILITIES
Whether you want to start a new worship service, a new ministry or even to transform an existing faith community, you have to know where your starting point is in order to create a plan to get where you want to go. Discovering the Possibilities is a 5-hour facilitated process designed to assist church leaders in understanding their current context so they may begin to discern possibilities for their future. 

For more information, click here.


 
28 DAY CHURCH CHALLENGE
John Wesley wanted the members of his movement to work on personal holiness and acts of service to others. We all want our Church to be vibrant and alive. The 28 Day Church Challenge, designed around five challenge areas, will help the church and each individual member keep the Main Thing (Jesus) the main thing. The five challenge areas are: fasting, prayer, study, outreach and the Great Commission. 

For more information, click here.



Use MISSIONINSITE to unlock the secrets to your community! Execute a demographic analysis to determine best ministry opportunities, answer strategic questions, understand population trends before they happen and more. MissionInsite is an online demographic analysis tool available, free of charge, to all United Methodist Churches in Mississippi. 

For more information, click here.



COMMUNITY ANALYSIS/ASSESSMENT 
A community analysis/assessment will help you take your church and your church's ministry to the next level. An analysis/assessment includes but is not limited to, using a full array of demographic tools, site visits, economic development office and other community interviews, the church’s 10-year metrics data and other available resources. 

For more information, click here.


 
TRAINING | COACHING 
Instructional training on tools and resources, is available to all local United Methodist churches. Contact the Faith Community Formation Office to schedule at online form. 

For more information, click here.


SMALL & RURAL CHURCH RESOURCES
The vast majority of United Methodist churches (roughly 70%) are small membership churches with fewer than 200 members. Most can be and are vital places of ministry that matter. The size of the membership will determine how the church goes about its mission and ministry, not whether it will or not. 

For more information, click here.


UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ONLINE DIRECTORY & STATISTICS 
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) offers general statistical information about the church, formerly contained in the printed General Minutes, in a free, easy-to-use online directory and statistics website at www.umdata.org

For more information, click here.


CONSULTATIONS | STRATEGIC PLANNING | VISION CASTING
Creating a vision (and strategic plan) and learning how to effectively cast that vision to your church members and community is vital for leading the flock.

For more information, click here.