by Tracy Jaggers
People normally resist Change. Why? Because it is uncomfortable and inconvenient. It can be dangerous as well – dangerous to lead and dangerous to live through. It is difficult, emotionally draining and usually carries numerous fears. But it is high time that we get off our couches of ease and join the ranks of God’s risk-takers. The church has always thrived under persecution and we are beginning to see an opportunity to thrive staring us in the face. But, if we keep on doing what we have been doing, we will keep on getting what we have been getting – and to me, that is unacceptable.
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less” — Vaclav Havel
Church revitalization is a journey, to discover God’s unique calling for your church, in the specific setting in which you live. Readjusting your focus is really a call to look at the values of your church and determine first, “are they what God values?” Second, if so, “how can we adapt our church and ministries to meet those values?” Readjusting your focus is a spiritual evaluation process that begins as our church seeks to join our member’s lives and our church’s ministries with what God values. When we are walking in total obedience to the purposes and plans of God, we cannot help but find growth and excitement as we join God in His “thing,” instead of expecting Him to join us in ours. It is uncomfortable to let go of the steering wheel, but when we do, we find that it was never our car to drive in the first place, and God has never had a wreck!
In the process of readjusting your focus, you should seek to determine answers to
8 probing questions:
- Why do we exist? Why are we here? What is God’s purpose for us?
- Does our past reveal an attitude and plan for growth?
- Whom has God called us to reach? Who is our target audience? You won’t reach everyone, but we should be willing to reach anyone.
- Who has God shaped us to be? What are our core values?
- Where do we believe God is leading us? What is our vision for the future?
- How do we need to change our ministry model to meet our vision?
- How do we apply our values and vision within our setting? How will we know if we are meeting our goals?
- How do we implement these plans over the next 3, 5, 10 years? (Strategic and Long-Range Planning)
“A ReFocused church is a church that has been repositioned to engage in an intentional ministry that births new life—ministry that equips attendees of a local church to reach the unchurched, launch new ministries, and plant new churches… and become reproducing-disciples” – Unknown