When I took a dying church on its last leg over 8 years ago, I did not know what to expect or whether we would even be a church the next year. By God’s grace, the church has grown, changed, matured and stabilized in a way that has surpassed my expectations. Much of what I have learned I anticipated and braced for it. Yet, there have been some lessons learned that I did not expect. Some lessons that came through pain, heartache, and mistakes. Some lessons I am so grateful to God He allowed me to learn thus far in this journey and are lessons unique to pastoring these kinds of churches. Here are a few:
1) Wait for the right time to implement change.
2) Don’t underestimate the power of persistent love.
3) Don’t underestimate the joy of winning those who were once hostile to you.
4) Don’t neglect your elderly members, they’re one of your greatest gifts.
5) Labor for the satisfaction of seeing unhealthy, dysfunctional church patterns broken.
You can find my explanations of these 5 lessons in full in this article from the most recent 9 marks ejournal. I welcome your thoughts on the article as well as any further lessons you have learned while laboring in your church revitalization work.