Posts

Embracing Dismantling: Recapturing and the Essence of Church in a Changing World

Image
Sometimes I walk into my kid's room and find all the Lego pieces of various houses and airplanes completely dismantled and made in something new. I am uncomfortable with this because I know the hours that went into building those original designs. "Put it back the way it was," is what I want to say. However, the creativity of legos is that the building block is their DNA, it is their purpose, not the form they take. "It is different than it was before," is a statement we say about many things in this post-pandemic world. We see it in so many ways, for example in our area restaurants that used to be open past midnight and grocery stores that were open 24 hours a day now close fairly early. Additionally, we see it in the declining support of places of entertainment and worship. Things have become dismantled in so many ways.  In my full-time role, I have experienced and heard about the lack of volunteers. In this era of rapid change and shifting paradigms, the con

The Resilient Leader: Essential Characteristics for Leadership in Church Revitalization

Image
There are small churches all over the country closing, dreaming, and even attempting to revitalize. Some of them have resilient leaders and others do not. Some of the revitalization work will succeed but many will fail. Those who succeed, I believe have learned to depend more on the church congregation's ability to partner with the Holy Spirit than anything else. Secondly, I think the biggest indicator of success or fruitfulness depends on the congregation's ability to commit to carrying the most responsibility of the revitalization work. In other words, they do not place all of their hope and trust in a new visionary leader. Church communities need resilient leaders and leadership with certain essential characteristics. Though a leader or leadership team will not mostly or alone drive revitalization work (in my opinion and experience), it cannot be denied that fruitful church revitalization does depend on a visionary, humble, and communicative leadership team and pastoral lead

Small can be strategic, and numerical growth doesn’t necessarily validate a ministry.

Image
This interview between Karl Vaters and Jeff McLain , originally appeared in the Beacon Magazine as  Mistakes Were Made (Part 6): In How We’ve Done Church — Challenges and Encouragement for Small Churches. Through this link the article can be read in its original format and context from July 1, 2022. “Integrity is the new competence.” Karl Vaters challenged me with this statement as we conversed about the strange new season we’re in as the church. This is an era in which too many churches have been built around personalities, and destruction has abounded. Large, effective ministries have been lost in seconds. Karl gently reminds us that the church needs to shift from teaching skill to developing integrity and character. In fact, he suggests that churches double down on discipleship, especially around character. Almost all issues the church faces today result from a breakdown in discipleship. It’s also encouraging to see how people are looking for community in ways they didn’t recogni

4 Essential Ways the Pastoral Leader Should Rely on the Holy Spirit in Church Revitalization and Realignment

Image
Since 2018, the Revive Initiative has been a continuous conversation with resources and events to encourage , equip and empower regional church communities and leaders. Through our conversations, events, studies and small groups - I have come to believe that the any pastoral leader called to do the work of church revitalization and realignment needs the Holy Spirit leading the way. Additionally, despite the Holy Spirit, the leader can only lead as far as the church community is willing to go.