As a church revitalizer, I’m beginning to see revitalization all throughout Scripture. Nowhere is it more evident in than in the coming of the Messiah. Four hundred years of silence and sameness is suddenly broken when God interrupted the life of a has-been couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Then a young teenage girl and her espoused husband Joseph allowed their perfect wedding plans to be trashed.
Where we are in New England, there are so many churches that have abandoned the Gospel and faithfulness to the Scripture. Many of these churches have become nothing more than buildings that are a tribute to a past that was once so influenced by the Truth. Like King Josiah, can we see godly pastors lead them back to faithfulness?
Last Sunday my wife and I were out for an afternoon drive. We were enjoying the fall foliage when we happened upon a lovely scene near a campground. At the entrance to the campground there was a river that emptied into a pond, a lovely covered bridge, and several historical items on display. But what caught our eye the most was the lovely mannequin of an old man fishing. It was meticulously set up beside the covered bridge and looked like it had been there many years. We pulled into the small parking lot and took in the whole scene. It was amazing.
Revitalization. Seems there is always a new buzz word that’s coming down the pike, but this one is long overdue. Revival is a word that may be worn out by time and history, so revitalization is taking its place.
Maybe it’s for good reason. With so much mission drift, churches today know that it’s going to take more than a week of meetings to fix the systemic problems that plague us. Some estimate 1000 days and major course adjustments are required to truly turn a church around.
Recent surveys on the spiritual landscape in North America reveal both good and bad news. The good news is that the situation for churches is not as bleak as some people thought it would be. The bad news is that there are a lot churches out there that are struggling.