The Executive Director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Dr. Paul Chitwood, developed a structure that allows us to place a strong emphasis on church revitalization by creating a team called the Church Consulting & Revitalization Team. On our 21-member team there are six men who serve as Regional Consultants. They live in the region assigned to them and work directly with pastors, churches, church workers, Directors of Missions, and local associations.
Over the last couple of years, they noticed that pastors who had successfully led their churches to experience revitalization possessed consistent characteristics. In the next two posts, I’m going to look at those characteristics. The list only scratches the surface, but these ten characteristics stand out to our consultants.
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF A REVITALIZATION PASTOR
1. Revitalization pastors lean into conflict. Some pastors avoid conflict at all costs. They may develop a brilliant, God-given vision for the future of the church, but they scrap it just as soon as one or two people are critical. Revitalization pastors do not necessarily like conflict, but they are willing to face it in order to fulfill the God-given vision.
2. Revitalization pastors are willing to take risks. It’s risky to help a church understand that they are being ineffective. It’s rarely pleasant to confront difficult people or to seek restoration of a broken relationship, but revitalization pastors do what’s right instead of merely doing what’s easy and convenient.
3. Revitalization pastors work hard on church relationships. As a child, most of us learned the little hand visual that accompanied the saying “here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and here are the people.” As adults, we know that the symbolism is lacking because the church is not a building; the church IS the people. Revitalization pastors understand that building a church means building people.
4. Revitalization pastors take the lead in evangelism. A church cannot be revitalized without reaching new people with the Gospel. A revitalization pastor places emphasis on evangelism and leads by example in this area. Methods of evangelism vary from church to church and community to community, but churches experiencing revitalization are making new converts for Christ.
5. Revitalization pastors lead with a vision. Visions are sometimes written, sometimes spoken, and sometimes written and spoken! Revitalization pastors have a God-given vision for the church’s future and they share it regularly with the church.
Continued in “Revitalization Pastors – Part Two”