You can't program a church from unhealthy to healthy.
No amount of special events, Big Days or new ideas can cause a broken church to become whole.
There is no book, no conference, no blog post or podcast that will give you the key to church renewal or revival.
Sure, those things might give you the tools to attract a bigger crowd, or generate more buzz, but church health isn’t about more people or greater enthusiasm.
It’s about more of Jesus. His Great Commandment and Great Commission.
True Turnaround Is Slow
Church turnarounds don’t happen with slicker marketing or bigger offerings.
They come slowly. Deliberately.
Three steps forward, two steps back. Over a long period of time.
Turnarounds require rebuilding of broken trust, reestablishing of eternal principles and repairing of damaged relationships.
Crowds can be built quickly. People heal slowly.
People’s schedules don’t need to be changed. Their hearts need to be renewed.
It starts with prayer and care. But those are slow processes. It takes a long time for people in a broken church to move
- From damaged to restored
- From toxic to joyful
- From distrust to surrender
- From weak to strong
- From hopeless to hopeful.
Turnaround Starts At Home
I’ve seen churches go from small to large in short periods of time. But I’ve never seen a shortcut to health and wholeness.
If you’re a pastor of a church in need of a turnaround, don’t be in such a hurry to build a crowd that you forget about rebuilding the church. After all, anyone can draw a crowd. But only Jesus builds the church.
And, my fellow pastors, remember this. Sometimes the hardest and longest turnaround doesn’t need to happen in the congregation, the board or the worship team.
It needs to happen in us first.
Some of us need to remember why we became pastors in the first place. What our Call was really all about.
It wasn’t about programs, buildings, crowds or status.
It was about Jesus. And it needs to be again.
Find your first love. Grab on tight. And never let go.
Turnaround starts at the foot of the cross.
Copyright © 2017 by the author or Christianity Today.
Click here to read our guidelines concerning reprint permissions.