Revitalization BCW june 06 TWO

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization INTRODUCTION

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization As a local church goes through its life cycles, it goes through a number of experiences. Some of these will be high points. When considering the local church in North America, it is currently being said that over 80% of existing churches are plateaued and declining. Why? Though a question, the answers are varied and often unique to each congregation -- though there might be a similar pattern among those experiencing decline.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization Chuck Swindoll says, “Organizations tend to lose vitality rather than gain it as time passes. They also tend to give greater attention to what they ‘were’ rather than what they ‘are’ becoming.” God’s intent and strategy is for His Kingdom on earth to be generational and transferable. In Genesis 50:24, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made it clear that generations would be the vehicle to propagate the message of redemption throughout history. Jesus gave us marching orders in Matthew 28:19-20 and the strategy in Acts 1:8; yet, many churches today are stagnate and struggling to survive.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization The local church today seems to have misplaced its purpose, its power and its plan. While many believers “know” the church’s purpose, there is a disconnection between the purpose and the actual practice and structure of a church to implement the biblical mandate.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization This guide is a tool to help existing churches rediscover their God-given purpose and plan. Once the leaders and people of the local church rediscover the Biblical pattern and plan of a New Testament church, they can develop a comprehensive plan or strategy that serves as a vehicle to achieve God’s preferred future for that church in their community. No guide replaces the care and guidance of the Lord. Take time to pray, read God’s word and listen to the Lord each day and each step of His way for you.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization The first step is addressed to the pastor. It addresses gaining perspective, new opportunities, developing a new vision, and putting action with dreams. These are brief starting points that the pastor can think through in leading the congregation forward. The next six steps provide a brief explanation and simple activities to help the pastor, leaders and members of the congregation personalize this experience under God’s direction.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization Step 1: For the Pastor Step 2: What Has God Done Through Our Congregation? (for pastor and leaders) Step 3: What is Our Congregation Like Now? (for pastor and leaders) Step 4: Foundations for Looking to Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Step 5: Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Step 6: Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Step 7: Connecting for Encouragement for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members)

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization Take others with you on this journey. Do not try to walk the path of revitalization alone. Remember this is not an end to the journey. You can take more time in the future to enhance and build on the foundation that is put in place during these early months. It is helpful to re-evaluate and make longer plans 12 to 24 months after completing these seven steps.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization PHASE ONE Step 1: For the Pastor

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Step 1: For the Pastor This is written for the pastor who will be leading the church toward a renewed vision, which will lead to turning the church around. This guide is intended to help the pastor begin the journey for revitalization in the life of the congregation under God’s direction.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective Coming to the point of recognizing that the church may indeed be in a state of non-growth, and perhaps experiencing decline, is not a point to accept for any church leader. This could be the turning point for the church. Making the choice to turn a church around is not a single person task, but one that is lead by the pastor along with the church. Which road your church chooses will be determined by the decisions you make during this critical time as the pastor/leader.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective Scripture is full of promises that Christ made for His church, His bride. Yet, challenges or set backs can make the people of Christ feel they cannot go on, or that the battle is lost. Christ said that not even the gates of Hell could prevail against His church. (Matt. 16:18) That promise is no less true today than it was with your church when it was in its state of greatest health. Christ also promised that He would send His Spirit to empower the church to do His work on the earth. (Acts 1:8) That power has come and is as powerful today has it has ever been. It can enable the church to accomplish her mission of reconciliation. (II Cor. 5:18)

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective Suggestion: Rather than dwelling on lower attendance or reduced budgets, you can help your congregation move ahead by addressing in your sermons, involving your leaders and challenging your congregation to move from the past by embracing your future. Your theme verse could be: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward that which is ahead, I press on for the mark for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14) Healthy churches have the ability to learn from the past and move forward.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective The hard experiences that occur in a church also have the ability to propel people and congregations forward. In the book of Genesis we see Joseph experiencing setback after setback. Amazingly, through everything, Joseph kept a sense of direction and purpose. Each setback eventually led Joseph to a higher level of responsibility and authority. Finally, when the day came that Joseph could have tried to get even with his brothers and blame them for years of slavery and imprisonment, he did not. Instead, he recognized God’s hand bringing him through each trial. “So then, it wasn’t you who sent me here, but God.” (Gen. 45:8)

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective God was on His throne when low points hit your church. He saw in you the ability to lead your congregation through these difficult periods toward His vision for your congregation.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Gaining Perspective Suggestion: Plan a series of sermons and small group Bible studies to help your members discover, for themselves, God’s pattern of turning difficult times into times of triumph. This can be healing for the members. It will help condition the church for change toward a renewed future. Provide your members with practical resources and tools for assessing and dealing with personal and church spiritual health. This could include books and articles.

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Step 1: For the Pastor New Opportunities As the pastor, God wants you to lead your congregation into the future and not to reclaim its past. Making a decision to turn your church around puts new opportunities in front of the congregation. Actions to engage new opportunities will spring from the values held by the congregation. The values mentioned here are not absolute values such as truth, integrity or the authority of Scripture. Instead, these values are the ideas that a church may hold in high esteem. These values are seen in the actions and activities of the congregation. One of the opportunities to experience revitalization is to lead your congregation to bury unhealthy values – things that have kept the church from fully doing all that God has intended -- while embracing values that produce health.

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Step 1: For the Pastor New Opportunities Some churches are bound to the past and resist any attempt to introduce change. They value the status quo. A church may need to transform their value of the status quo for a new value of daily obedience. Consider what happened in the life of Joseph. Before his brothers sold him into slavery, he valued being at home in a loving relationship with his father. Once setback struck and he was on his own in a strange land, he was challenged to find value in his faith, obedience and trust in God to bring him toward the fulfillment of his childhood dream.

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Step 1: For the Pastor New Opportunities There are very few opportunities in the life of a church to bury unhealthy values and replace them with values that can transform. Therefore, it is critical that you guide your congregation to adopt the values God has revealed to you and your people. Not all values will change. There are certainly values that have been in the life of your congregation that should remain. The challenge is to identify the values to keep. The next step is to identify the unhealthy values and replace them with new ones. Unless a new value is embraced, the old, unhealthy value will stay.

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Step 1: For the Pastor New Opportunities List two values that your church needs to keep: ______________________________________ List one value that your congregation does not need to keep: ______________________________________ For a value that needs to be replaced, list a new value that needs to be added. ______________________________________ See Step 4 of the How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization for further information related to values.

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Step 1: For the Pastor New Opportunities Suggestion: Generally, communicate change in values by focusing on the positive things that God is doing; not by speaking negatively about the past. Communicate the change by saying something like, “God is leading us through a time of refocusing that we can embrace to find success in seeing lives changed.” If you say, “Our church has always resisted change and today we can no longer do that,” you will engage defense mechanisms.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision Refocusing has a way of making a person re-evaluate where they are and where they are going. The church should do the same. Vision for the future has three important abilities: 1. John 5:17 and19 reminds us that God is always at work in His world. Just as Jesus did, the church must seek to discover where God is at work and join Him as they move forward. Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." … Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:17, 19 (NIV)

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision Accordingly, vision for the future, where God is leading us, has two important benefits: A) It can help guide your congregation into productive activities. They will see the positive things God is doing. As they move forward, they are less likely to complain or dwell on negative issues. B) Vision sets priorities and defines values that help the congregation say, “yes” when it needs to, and say, “no” when it needs to.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision These statements can be seen in the power that dreams had in the life of Joseph. God had given him the vision that one day He would do a great work through him. Joseph held on to this dream during extremely difficult times.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision First, vision kept Joseph moving even though he was a slave. Joseph knew that God had a great plan and therefore, he applied himself to every situation. Second, the Bible records nothing of Joseph’s anger or bitterness while a slave and prisoner. He didn’t point fingers -- even when he met his brothers he responded in love. Why? Because he knew God was in control. Third, Joseph made great choices in difficult situations. He refused the advances of Potiphar’s wife even though he was a young man, away from home, and no one would know. Joseph knew God had a larger vision for his life, and he was not willing to trade that for temporary pleasure.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision Effective leaders communicate a clear vision so that those who follow can be about the business of refocusing. Vision is stated clearly so members can know what they need to do in order to bring fulfillment to the vision. Vision has elements of the big picture, as well as the overall destination. It also shares the bits and pieces of what is needed today. For pastors of churches, vision needs to come from God’s heart and be communicated in positive, optimistic terms.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision Communicating Your Vision: Many pastors are long on vision and short on the ability to communicate in terms that move people to action. After a decision to lead your church through a revitalization process, you cannot afford to make this mistake. As you begin to create a new vision, you will gain a new passion to see some things accomplished through your ministry and the ministry of the church. As you think of some of these things, write them down. 1. 2. 3.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision The current context has given your church some unique challenges. Those challenges may be in facilities, finances or fruitfulness. What vision has God given you for complete restoration to church health? Write it down. Suggestion: The revitalization of a church requires visionary leadership. To accomplish this, schedule time with your leaders. Make the vision you have already identified clear. Together, map a dream that can be vividly communicated. Have one or more intentional times where members can embrace and own the vision/dream that God is giving to the church family. Finally, develop a short phrase that captures the vision – one that can be easily understood, remembered and repeated by every member.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Developing a New Vision Warning: Some ministers communicate a vision in terms of buildings, programs or financial goals. These are necessary tools, but they are a means to transforming lives in your neighborhood, community, county, state, nation, and the world. Check the vision you have listed. Will it fulfill the great commission? Will it contribute to touching every person in every place with the gospel of Jesus?

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Step 1: For the Pastor 2. Putting Action with Dreams Before setting off on any journey you need to know how you will get there. Will you take a plane or drive a car? In leading your church through a revitalization process, your values define the vehicle that will propel your church where it needs to go. Next, you have to know where you are going. In the ministry of revitalization, that is done through discovering a clear vision of what God intends for your congregation. Now, you need a map so you can begin the journey.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting Action with Dreams Returning to Joseph, his life turned around once a plan was birthed in his heart to save the people of Egypt -- and ultimately the family of Israel. Pharaoh entrusted Joseph with the administration of the entire nation. Pharaoh may have felt he was being good to Joseph, but God was blessing Joseph for his faithfulness after years of heart-ache. Imagine where Joseph would have ended up if he had simply interpreted Pharaoh’s dream without having a plan to save the Egyptians from starvation. Your situation is different from Joseph’s situation, but the principal is the same. A vision is only as good as the plan that brings the vision to life.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting Action with Dreams Developing a plan to lead the church through a revitalization process is a challenge. The only thing certain is the situation always changes once you begin. However, it can and must be done. To develop plans for refocusing the church, use the following guidelines: Keep your vision in focus. Make sure your short-term goals connect to the vision. Things that must be achieved will require a person to be responsible for carrying out supporting activities. There will be short-range, medium-range and long-range goals to be developed over time.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting Action with Dreams Realistic targets will be needed, but flexibility must be maintained due to frequent changes that may occur. Include in your refocusing efforts all functions that a congregation needs to stay spiritually healthy: worship, evangelizing the lost, discipling believers, serving others, prayer as a priority, and fellowship with one another. Communicate the plans. When the membership does not know the plan, they sit unengaged in the process of change. Thus, the church repeats the same mistakes it did prior to the undertaking of the revitalization process.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting Action with Dreams Once you have worked to develop a short-range plan, begin long-range planning. Planning is never complete just because the church completes a goal. Be prepared with another plan. By keeping goals and objectives in front of the members, you will prevent the ministry from growing stale. As the people are a part of the planning process, they will know what they need to do in order to help the church reach her goals.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting Action with Dreams Suggestion: Enlist leadership to help in the development of the church’s medium- to long-range planning. Share the vision of what God has shown the future can be. Use word pictures to establish goals the members will own. When congregational leadership develops the plan with you, they are more likely to see the importance of taking the journey, lead others to take the journey and share the load in the journey. Be prepared for a long, lonely trip if you hand down a map and say, “This is where we are going.”

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Step 1: For the Pastor 3. Putting the Pieces Together God has chosen you to lead your congregation through this revitalization process. The leadership decisions you make during this time can determine whether your church emerges from this stronger, with a sense of real revival or defeated by failure. It may help you to know that throughout church history, a suffering church has always been a more effective servant than one who has never experienced any type of pain.

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Step 1: For the Pastor Putting the Pieces Together Steps 2 through 7 of How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization can serve to guide you, your leaders and your members as you begin the journey together in refocusing. Make a commitment today to walk together with God and others to a new chapter in the story of your congregation.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization PHASE TWO Steps 2 and 3 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, 1 Chronicles 16:11-12 (NIV)

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Steps 2 and 3 Pastors and church leaders who are facing the symptoms of non-growth and decline often focus on survival tactics, which often only provide temporary relief. Out of this, frustration, confusion and tiredness may be more evident. Yet, in the presence of such a situation, God is still able to provide a foundation for refocusing life within the church. These few steps can help a congregation to move forward under God’s strength and guidance.

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 2: What has God done through our congregation? (for pastor and leaders) God commands His people to remember what He has done as encouragement for them in the midst of their situation. Take time to recall what God has done in the past through the congregation. Give Him thanks as you remember. Note the impact of your congregation on the lives of people. Significant impact of the congregation

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 2: What has God done through our congregation? (for pastor and leaders) Members Recall The pastor or key leader should interview two or three members of the congregation who were either present at the beginning of the congregation, or have heard about the beginning of the congregation. Ask the selected members to tell the story of the beginning of the congregation as they know it. Listen to the pictures each one describes. Write down any word pictures that were described. Write down a common theme or purpose that might have been expressed. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4 (NIV)

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Congregations need to take a look at themselves from time to time. They need a realistic picture of who they are. The following items will help the congregation understand itself.

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Main Values Values are foundational to everything we do. Values are more about deeds than words. The main values should be expressed in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They are convictions about how a church operates, not doctrinal statements about what it believes. Values impact the way a congregation acts. For example, if relationship is a value, that will impact the way the congregation organizes, plans and seeks to develop others. Potential main values that some congregations have identified are listed at the end of this document. What main values have guided our behavior as a congregation?

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Purpose A congregation’s purpose describes why they exist. It gives direction for what they do. What was the purpose for your congregation in the past?

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Present Leadership Leaders are essential for any organization. Who are our available leaders now? Pastor and other ministers Deacons Teachers, adults Teachers, youth Teachers, children Teachers, preschool

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Who We Are Describe your congregation (language used in worship, estimated average age, typical educational level, type of residence, other)

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Trends Before Taking on the Revitalization Process Consider the previous three years of your congregation. In the areas listed below, was your congregation decreasing or increasing? (1 is decreasing a lot and 5 is increasing a lot) Membership 1 2 3 4 5 Additions by baptisms 1 2 3 4 5 Worship attendance 1 2 3 4 5 Giving 1 2 3 4 5

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities - Threats Substantial power is generated as a congregation discovers and claims its strengths. Weaknesses must be realistically identified, but they must not become the focus. Opportunities are occasions for growth. Threats are dangers that can sidetrack a congregation from taking advantage of the opportunities God sends its way.

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Given our present circumstances as a congregation, what are our: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (or dangers) State of the Congregation How would you as the pastor or key leader describe the present state of the congregation (beyond status of buildings and finances)?

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Steps 2 and 3 Step 3: What is our congregation like now? (for pastor and leaders) Summary What are two things the congregation can celebrate? 1) 2) What is one challenge that faces the congregation (not including buildings or finances)?

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization PHASE TWO Steps 4-7 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 (NIV)

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Steps 4-7 It is time for the leaders to look toward the congregation’s future. The leaders and congregation need to answer the question, “What does God want our congregation to be and do next?” These few steps will act as guide as you consider significant issues for the future strength of the church. The apostle Paul suffered many hardships and setbacks. He described these personal hardships in his second letter to the church in Corinth.

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Steps 4-7 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:25-28 (NIV)

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Steps 4-7 Paul continued on to reach his world for Christ in spite of the hardships. Your congregation will benefit from your leadership at this point.

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Steps 4-7 Step 4 – Foundations for Looking to Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Values impact the way a congregation acts. Values are more about deeds than words. The main values should be expressed in terms of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They are convictions about how a church operates, not doctrinal statements about what it believes. For example, if relationship is a value, that will impact the way the congregation organizes, plans and seeks to develop others. A few potential main values that some congregations have identified are listed at the end of this document.

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Steps 4-7 Step 4 – Foundations for Looking to Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Congregations usually have five to seven values. What main values should guide our congregation’s behavior for the next few years, based on our understanding of the members? Also, list two possible actions or behaviors for each main value listed. The Vision for a church is a picture of the church’s preferred future as the leadership understands what God wants it to be. The focus is on what the church is to be in the future. What is God’s vision for our congregation as we look into our future? ____________________________________________________

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Steps 4-7 Step 4 – Foundations for Looking to Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Will there be a significant change in the people who make up the community around our congregation over the next 12 to 24 months? Whom should we focus upon? _____________________________________ Communication is always essential. How can our congregation communicate our main values and vision to one another and to others? ________________________________________

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Steps 4-7 Step 4 – Foundations for Looking to Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Evangelism efforts do not happen accidentally. Congregations and leaders must be equipped and be intentional in their evangelism. How is our congregation going to make evangelism a priority? _____________________________________ It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

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Steps 4-7 Step 5 – Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) The work of those who were gifted to equip others was to prepare God's people for works of service. As God's people serve others, the result is a building up of the body of Christ . The building up of the body is two-fold: (1) Those within the body are becoming more mature and stable in their faith; thus, more Christ-like. (2) Due to their maturing character, God’s people will do works of service through ministry and witness to those outside the church.

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Steps 4-7 Step 5 – Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Church leaders and volunteers give their attention to either an inward direction within the church or an outward direction into the community. A healthy congregation develops leaders for both inward and outward directions. There is a tendency for leadership to become more inwardly focused over time. A congregation must plan and be intentional to keep the outward evangelistic focus as healthy as its inward focus.

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Steps 4-7 Step 5 – Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Leaders of growing congregations invest time in equipping, supporting, motivating, delegating, and multiplying themselves among others. They view their role as helping members identify their gifts and involving them in appropriate ways. Congregations are wise to anticipate coming challenges. They prepare for this through equipping future leaders for the work of ministry. Two general questions leaders will need to address as they look to the near future (the next 12 and 24 months) are: Are we equipping workers in preparation for growth? Are we training people for the right things?

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Steps 4-7 Step 5 – Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Use the following chart to list the leadership roles needed, any leaders who presently fill those roles and names of potential leaders where needed. Leadership Role Needed Present Leader(s) Name Potential Leader(s) Name

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Steps 4-7 Step 5 – Leadership for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Equipping of future leaders should consider the following issues: What are our expectations for church leaders? How can we effectively mobilize and equip God's people for service? How can we enlist and equip the leadership needed for the next level? What kind of leaders are we developing? (inward or outward directed) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (NIV)

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) The Christian life is about being more Christ-like in character and obeying the Lord as He directs life. Congregations must also deal with what they will be and what they will do. A congregation must deal with their next steps for it to move toward greater strength. Yet, what is done today is also laying the foundation for the next 12 to 24 months. Simple, intentional plans help congregations go forward in an organized manner. For example, a journey across the state will cover many miles and pass many mileposts. Some mileposts will hardly be noticed as they are passed. Other mileposts will represent essential actions for the completion of the journey.

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) These essential mileposts could include where you need to stop for food or gas, or where you need to change highways. Plans for moving toward a vision need to include the major “mileposts” to be reached. Effective plans have identifiable targets that are: Consistent with vision and values Realistic in terms of time projections and sequence Concrete with specific tasks and person responsible

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Completions of identifiable targets are times for celebration and thanksgiving. Use the following questions to identify one or more targets the congregation needs to reach within each area over the next 12 to 24 months.

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) What should our renewed congregation be and do about prayer? Praying as families? Home prayer groups? Church small groups? Prayer walking our neighborhoods? What should our renewed congregation be and do about worship? Give thanks for God’s daily provisions? How does worship glorify God and become the means by which new peoples can encounter God? What should our renewed congregation be and do about evangelism? Who needs training to share their faith? Where do we connect with the lost in our communities?

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) What should our renewed congregation be and do about Bible study? What do we study? Who can lead the Bible studies? Where can we do studies in other places beyond our church facilities? How do we invite others to come? What should our renewed congregation be and do about fellowship? How do we make our fellowship an open experience for all? Where do we find other venues beyond our facilities to experience fellowship that engages the unchurched?

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Steps 4-7 Step 6 – Going Forward into Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) What should our renewed congregation be and do about stewardship? When do we emphasize stewardship of time and money? What should our renewed congregation be and do about missions? What on-going ministry is needed? Where can we send a missions team? As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

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Steps 4-7 Step 7 - Connecting for Encouragement for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Many pastors, church leaders and spouses find themselves isolated and lonely in “normal” situations. This can increase in times of stress. The problems church leaders are facing can cause high levels of frustration and burnout. People feel “frazzled” at the end of the day. An effective way to address this is through relationships. Intentional relationships produce positive impact in a person’s life and ministry. Relationships also provide accountability and encourage success. Support from others who are on a similar journey helps those in ministry keep their focus on Jesus Christ.

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Steps 4-7 Step 7 - Connecting for Encouragement for Our Future (for pastor, leaders and members) Each church leader should identify two church leaders from other churches for informally giving encouragement and receiving encouragement on a monthly basis. Each wife of a church leader also should identify two other wives of other church leaders whom they can meet with at least monthly for prayer and mutual encouraging.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization PHASE THREE Evaluation and Long-Range Planning

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Evaluation and Long-Range Planning The congregation should plan for evaluating their progress and developing a long-range plan. This provides a look at where they are as a congregation and where they need to go. The pastor and key leaders can walk through a guided evaluation and plan for their church. This could take place 10 to 14 months after completing these seven steps. The Phase Three event may be lead by a state convention and/or North American Mission Board team. Consider inviting a denominational leader experienced in church health to lead you through this evaluation process.

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How to Turn a Church Around: Church Revitalization ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR THE REVITALIZATION PROCESS

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MENTORING TEAM

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Vision Statement The Mentoring Team is a team of diversely gifted servants who support church planting movements by nurturing and equipping church planters and those who work with them. We are seeking to help field a trained army who, as a result of their health, will plant healthy reproducing churches extending the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.

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Core Values Excellence—Offering our best to God. Team—Demonstrating a culture which creates interdependence. Servanthood—Living a Christ-like style of service. Honesty—Displaying integrity in our words and deeds. Indigenous/Contextual—Practicing sound mission principles. Learning—Being life-long learners and developing learning communities. Reproduction—Multiplying ourselves in and through others.

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Mission Statement The Mentoring Team seeks to nurture and equip church planting teams and those that work with them during the early development of the planter and the church to the point of reproduction. To do this, we will:

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Mission Statement (cont) Resource and develop quality materials, learning environments and experiences to nurture and equip church planting teams, church planting churches (sponsor/partnering churches) and church planting partners. Resource and train presenters for those learning environments and experiences. Multiply ourselves in other servants across North America to resource teams and presenters and facilitators.

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Objectives Objective One—Nurture and Equip Church Planting Partners Objective Two—Nurture and Equip Church Planting Teams Objective Three—Nurture and Equip Church Planting Churches

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Strategy Process The Mentoring Team strategy includes three phases: (1) research and discovery of equipping needs, (2) resourcing and development of the equipping tools, and (3) reproduction and delivery of the church planting skills to the primary targets through the partnerships. The three phases incorporate an evaluative activity, which inform according to effectiveness and progress.

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Team Assignment—Development The Mentoring Team exists to assist our church planting partners in equipping church planting teams and church planting churches:

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Team Assignment—Development Partners Equipped* Provide orientation and equipping for partners to achieve their church planting objectives and become effective deliverers of church planting training resources to church planting teams. Equipping partners to deliver initial and ongoing on-the-job training (OJT) for church planting team members. Inclusive of planting team equipping resources Assessment Training Mentor Training Facilitator Training Consultant Training Foundations for Church Multiplication Future Resources and Training Events to Be Determined

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Team Assignment—Development Equipping partners to deliver initial and ongoing training for church planting churches. Equipping partners to develop and implement church planting equipping strategies/support systems. Researching, discovering and developing resource materials, subsequent training and equipping and nurturing systems for church planting partners. *Our partners include but are not limited to church planting missionaries, ministers of missions, associational directors of missions, state program leaders, fellowships, state directors of missions, and others.

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Team Assignment—Development Planting Teams Equipped Providing initial and ongoing OJT for team members. eQuip/Straight Street Mentor Training Basic Training Basic Training II Church Planter Network Online equipping resources for Lay Planting Team Member Future Resources and Training Events to Be Determined Researching, discovering and developing resource materials, subsequent training and equipping and nurturing systems for church planting teams.

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Team Assignment—Development Churches Equipped Providing initial and ongoing training for church planting churches. Multiplying Church Network Partners in Church Planting Acts 1:8 Future Resources and Training Events to Be Determined Researching, discovering and developing resource materials, subsequent training and equipping and nurturing systems for church planting churches.