Adapted with permission from "Revitalizing a Dying Church" in The Pastor-Evangelist: Preacher, Model, and Mobilizer for Church Growth (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1987).

In the course of their ministries, most pastors will face the challenge of revitalizing a declining church. Let me explain why by classifying pastoral ministries into three basic categories.

The Organizing Pastor. The role of organizing pastor is a special calling for those who can both evangelize and equip, for this is the task of building a church where one did not exist before.

The Continuing Pastor. Continuing pastors succeed organizing pastors and minister in growing or basically healthy churches.

The Revitalizing Pastor. When a once-flourishing church is on the decline, the people call a pastor who they hope will bring them back to the glory days.

With these three kinds of pastors in mind, let me make a couple of observations. First, to be honest, only a few people have the discipline, character, skills, and spiritual ...

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