6 keys to resuscitation

My last three churches were in decline when I arrived. In all three—one suburban, one large town, and one urban—keys to turning things around were similar:

  1. Build hope. First, point to God; Jesus Christ said, "I will build my Church." Second, point to the church's strengths. Third, point to churches that have turned around.
  2. Look forward publicly and backward privately. In two churches, the previous pastors had been forced out. Hurt feelings and tensions needed to be addressed, but not from the pulpit. Publicly, I pointed to the future we could share.
  3. Fix the facility. Peeling paint and disrepair sends a message the church is dying. We tackled the most obvious disrepair immediately with a few gallons of paint and volunteers.
  4. Preach dynamic sermons. I put more effort into sermon preparation than anything else.
  5. Emphasize prayer. When my present church called, I said I would come only if they agreed to hold an all-church prayer meeting every Sunday evening and if the leadership would commit to attending regularly. They did.
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