There are many stagnant or declining churches in the US. While it is certainly beneficial to try to determine what has led to the stagnation, it is equally helpful to understand how a church can be revitalized. Here are 3 mindsets that contribute to revitalization in a church.
1- A Sense of Urgency
Complacency is the opposite of urgency and it can kill churches. Urgency says that there is work to be done, there is no time to lose, and opportunities can be lost if we stall. Urgency understands that there is something at stake and immediate action is needed.
For some churches what triggers the mindset of urgency is the realization that their church is dying. For other churches what triggers this mindset is the realization that they are not seeing lives changed.
Here’s the truth: complacency always leads to death in a church. Cultivate a sense of urgency.
2- An ‘Others First’ Mindset
Churches that are on a downward trajectory usually have a ‘me or us first mindset.’ The ‘me first’ mindset says that the church is here for me. It is here to meet my needs, align with my preferences, and make me comfortable. The ‘me first’ mindset is not concerned with reaching or ministering to others. Those with this mindset simply want to be catered to.
The ‘others first’ mindset says that “I will lay my preferences aside for the sake of reaching others.” It says “the mission of the church comes first.” It says “I am willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of advancing the gospel.”
Churches with a ‘me first’ mindset will never reach others.
3- An Eternal Perspective
Many churches that are dying have a temporal perspective rather than eternal. The questions that usually guide their decision-making process is incomplete. They ask “what do we need to do right now?” The question they should be answering is this. “What can we do right now that will have the greatest eternal impact?” If we do not have an eternal perspective we will not make the right decisions.
Churches with an eternal perspective are passionate about making a difference for eternity. They are more concerned with building God’s kingdom than their own. They are willing to say no to certain programs and ministries so that they can focus on those things that have a lasting impact.
It is hard for a church to make an eternal impact without having an eternal perspective.
Churches who want to experience revitalization, first have to change their mindset regarding ministry. They must realize that eternity is real and that Jesus is coming again soon. This realization leads to a sense of urgency that is focused on others and attempts to make a difference for eternity. Churches who do this will experience true revitalization.