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The pandemic has given us many reasons to stress and contemplate the future. Today, Dr. Thom Rainer and Mark Clifton discuss the other side of the coin and give us five reasons pastors should have hope as we look to the post-pandemic era. It is still Christ’s church Your community is likely to know you better after the pandemic due to the live-stre…
 
We can learn much from positive and negative examples. In today’s episode, we isolate a group of churches in order to examine five common developments in declining churches. Decline is more pronounced. Closure or merger is more likely. Flaws become more visible or pronounced. Volunteers resign from their ministries. Conversion growth moves toward z…
 
The post-pandemic era is filled with uncertainty. Thom and Mark discuss why your church needs you, Pastor, now more than ever. There is still much uncertainty about the future Pastors will need to be purveyors of biblical hope Pastors will need to lead change more than ever Pastors will need to be constant reminders that the role of local congregat…
 
The pandemic has helped church leaders and members embrace change. Today on Revitalize & Replant, Thom Rainer and Kevin Ezell discuss four additional ways the pandemic has been positive for revitalizing churches. Change is more likely to be embraced. Power groups may relinquish control. Budgets can be reallocated. Complexity can shift to simplicity…
 
As we help leaders approach post-pandemic era ministry, an interesting development has occurred in the life of our friend, Mark Clifton. He is currently pastoring a 3-member church. Listen in as he shares his unique strategy for pandemic revitalization and ministry. Mark’s story Understanding the hope every church has Why the church facility is imp…
 
Many churches are approaching budget season. As church leaders we understand the importance of security in a revitalization but we have questions about the cost and how to pay for the needed security. Develop a security plan. Never neglect the kids. Never neglect background checks. Get affordable cameras. Ask law enforcement to volunteer (and bring…
 
We continue in our generational series with the Millennial Generation, born between 1980 and 2000 . As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. Largest generation in U.S. history Largest non-Christian and unchurched generatio…
 
The idea of church fostering and adoption is taking off and helping many churches become healthy. When a church decides to foster another church there may be signals the fostered church desires to move to adoption. Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss four signs a fostered church may want to be adopted. They start asking if your church can help longer. The…
 
We continue in our generational series with the Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979 . As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. The generation of purpose in the church Tend to feel left out. First generation where a ma…
 
Leading a revitalizing church is hard work in progress. Sometimes we worry about what guests will say when visiting. Thom Rainer and Kevin Ezell discuss what we should say to a guest who visits your revitalizing church. Tell them the church is in a turnaround mode. Tell them it’s a great ministry opportunity for them. Tell them you would like their…
 
We continue in our generational series with the Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964. As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. Church became consumer-focused in their formative years. This generation was the first…
 
Many churches have done well transitioning and leading through change during the past few months. A major change has been in how people give tithes, offerings, and gifts. What do you do with the stubborn church member who refuses to give digitally? Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss best practices to help lead in this area. Demonstrate how it’s good for …
 
Is your church predominantly filled with Builders (Greatest Generation) or those who were born before 1946? If so, today’s episode of Revitalize and Replant will help you lead this important generation and aid you as you participate in ministry with them. This generational is institutionally loyal They love to tell stories They are often fearful of…
 
Church leaders have asked the question again and again. What happens if the budget cut you need to make is you? Thom and Kevin Ezell look at the positives of bi-vocational ministry in a post-pandemic era. Understand the incredible opportunity Possibly seek a second job that provides maximum flexibility Make certain your family is on board Be clear …
 
On today’s episode we are going to visit your neighborhood, listen to those who live there, and help you ask questions about your community in a revitalization. Who is really in the community? How does the church reflect the community? What opportunities do the demographics suggest? What are the needs, dreams, and aspirations of those in the commun…
 
The pandemic has been incredibly tough on pastors. On today’s episode Dr. Rainer and Dr. Kevin Ezell breaks down five characteristics of a church leader who will lead well in the post-pandemic era. Courageous Willing to lead and think outside the box Prayerful Willing to understand the times Willing to count the cost Resources mentioned in today’s …
 
We have many conversations with church leaders whose families are struggling in a revitalizing church. These difficult conversations built guidance for how to help your family transition in a revitalizing church. They are the first line of ministry. Listen carefully to them. Stand up for them. Don’t stay if they are being hurt. Help them find other…
 
We are taking a different perspective on today’s episode. Join Thom Rainer and Mark Clifton as they discuss why you should join a revitalizing church. An opportunity to be involved immediately Become part of a new vision Become an instrument of hope A true missions opportunity Revitalize & Replant is sponsored by the North American Mission Board an…
 
Do some churches really choose to die? On the surface no church chooses to die but decisions we make or don’t make can lead to the death of a church. They are not willing to accept the normal pain of change. They don’t want to lose control. They confuse tradition with doctrine. They do not want to look like their community. They see a recent period…
 
Often when faced with difficult circumstances, throwing in the towel can seem like a very attractive option. Which is why perseverance in the face of difficulty is one of the most critical attributes needed in church revitalization. Thom and Mark discuss several of the reasons why in today’s episode. Change can seem interminably slow. You must be a…
 
We have begun to migrate from the word merger to adoption when talking about replanting churches. The language of adoption is stronger suited for the work occurring between churches, which is why adoption language is catching on. It indicates one family who will welcome another. It makes common sense to the church being adopted. It really fits well…
 
We all know the church is not a building; it’s the people. However, this cliche is only partially true. Mark Clifton and Thom Rainer break down this statement and why the building is important in revitalization. “The church is not a building; it’s the people” is both a cliche and only partially true. The church has to gather somewhere. Communities …
 
Church adoption implies healthy and biblical metaphors for each both churches. Before the church adoption takes place, ask these five major questions that must be answered. How do the doctrines of the two churches align? How do the cultures of the two churches align? What are the facility implications of adopting another church? What legal issues m…
 
This story comes from a continuous conversation in Church Answers started on June 15, 2019. When the pastor was called to this rural church, the average attendance had declined to 275 and the church had $14 in the bank. The pastor has now been serving for 14 years, and the average attendance is 700. Being honest and loving to the older members. Pre…
 
Many churches have done well transitioning and leading through change during the past few months. A major change has been in how people give tithes, offerings, and gifts. How do you convince the stubborn church member who refuses to give digitally? Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss best practices to help lead in this area. Demonstrate how it’s good for …
 
The post-pandemic era is filled with uncertainty. Thom and Mark discuss why your church needs you, Pastor, now more than ever. There is still much uncertainty about the future. Church leaders need to be purveyors of biblical hope. Pastors need to lead change more than ever. All pastors need to be constant reminders that the role of local congregati…
 
Church leaders have asked the question again and again. What happens if the budget cut you need to make is you? Thom and Kevin Ezell look at the positives of bi-vocational ministry in a post-pandemic era. Understand the incredible opportunity Possibly seek a second job that provides maximum flexibility Make certain your family is on board Be clear …
 
We are talking about hope today. There are many pastors who are concerned about what the church will look like in the post-pandemic era. Mark and Thom share five reasons pastors should have hope in this new chapter of ministry. It is still Christ’s church Your community is likely to know you better after the pandemic due to the live-streaming expos…
 
What makes a good leader in the post-pandemic era? Thom and Kevin discuss five characteristics of church leaders who will lead well during the days ahead. Courageous Willing to lead and think outside the box Prayerful Willing to understand the times Willing to count the cost Resources mentioned in today’s podcast: Church Answers Revitalize & Replan…
 
During this time as we look toward the post-pandemic era, an interesting development has occurred in the life of our friend, Mark Clifton. He is currently being considered as pastor of a 3-member church. Listen in as he shares his unique strategy as he steps into this new opportunity. Mark’s story Understanding the hope every church has Why the chu…
 
In the midst of everything we are going through you will be encouraged by the developments taking place within what was once seen as “impossible” turnaround churches. Many impossible rural turnaround churches are surprising people. There are many turnaround churches in New England, other northeast locations, and northwest churches. Neighborhood chu…
 
Today, Thom and Kevin pick up with part two in a great discussion for churches as they reimagine themselves after the Coronavirus. Upon re-entry, churches will be able to redefine what is new. Many churches have been challenged to reach demographic groups which do not hold to a belief in Christ. New research from PEW Research Center provides the Ch…
 
This will be a great topic for churches as they reimagine themselves after the Coronavirus. Upon re-entry, churches will be able to redefine what is new. Many churches have been challenged to reach demographic groups which do not hold to a belief in Christ. New research from PEW Research Center provides the Church with helpful religious typology in…
 
Things are changing demographically in the United States, specifically rural America. Beginning in 2013, the decline rate in rural areas began to decrease. In 2017, not only did the decline rate decrease but those arriving in rural and small towns exceeded those exiting. Today’s episode addresses how rural and small town churches can attract these …
 
Revitalize and Replant often talk about dying churches and the pain it creates for members. Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss best practices for leaders to utilize as they help members of a dying church deal with the pain. Highlights: Get them to turn that pain into a greater passion for prayer. Find the intersection of members’ passions, member’s’ gift…
 
Depression is real and pervasive in those who work in the church. Church revitalization is a difficult task and leading the church is spiritual warfare. We want to give you helpful tools to help you as you work through your emotions and remind you of truth when faced with struggle. Highlights: The struggles in a revitalization are real and pervasiv…
 
This one is a bit different but very helpful. Perhaps you are barely paying the bills in a full-time ministry position, or you have a desire to go bi-vocational to connect with people in your community. Today’s episode with Dr. Kevin Ezell discusses how you can earn extra income to support yourself while serving in ministry. Highlights: Get a side …
 
Promises, promises. You are told the church is ready for change but after arriving those promises are quickly broken. Thom and Mark discuss the reasons why promises may be broken and how to move forward. Highlights: Some promises are conditional, but you didn’t know it. Many promises are made without knowing the implications of the promises. Promis…
 
In today’s bonus episode of Revitalize and Replant we want to give you a small taste of the type of content you will receive at Revitalize 2020. Many churches in need of revitalization have many older members with great passion for the gospel who are living in neighborhoods which have drastically changed. How does a church successfully revitalize w…
 
Within the course of a month, we get a lot of questions about church revitalization and replanting. There are a few which we hear more often than others. You may not agree with all of the answers provided, but the following are the top five most common questions and our thoughts. Five Common Questions: What is the difference between revitalization …
 
There are many churches in need of adoption. For the adopting church there is much to think about and consider when looking at this new opportunity. Once the decision is made to adopt, how can the church best serve this new opportunity? In this week’s episode of Revitalize and Replant, Thom and Mark discuss four major attitudes which are necessary …
 
Today’s question and surrounding discussion is one we hear and take part in often. Maybe your warning signs come from family. Maybe it is due to your health. But possibly it is internal conflict outside of your control. Thom and Kevin discuss how to recognize when you have reached a line in the sand and walk away from a revitalization effort. Reaso…
 
Our goal is to see churches live and thrive. To know how to help churches we must understand and identify the drift which pulls churches towards the grave. In today’s episode of Revitalize and Replant Thom and Mark Clifton will discuss the characteristics of four churches which will soon die. Four Churches: The ex-Bible church The self-serving chur…
 
There are many qualities church leaders need to lead well, but there are distinct traits revitalize leaders possess which make the difference in this particular Kingdom work. In this week’s episode, Thom and Kevin talk through five of these unique characteristics. Five Unique traits of revitalize leaders: Tenacity Hope Learned Leadership Skills A S…
 
It’s time for another great episode of listener questions. These are some of our favorite episodes because we are able to respond to feedback from those who are making the work at Revitalize and Replant possible. If you have a listener question please submit those in the podcast comments. From Scott: What about doing a revitalization in the shadow …
 
The following four statements have the power to stop the important work of revitalization cold in its tracks. Thom and Kevin share stories, and discuss the importance of recognizing these problematic statements and how to address them before it’s too late. Highlights: “If only we had more __________.” “It’s __________ ‘s fault.” “This situation is …
 
In today’s Revitalize and Replant bonus episode, we uncover five questions to ask not if, but when your work in church revitalization is experiencing a financial shortfall. Highlights: Have we listened to wise counsel outside the church? Are there indications the shortfall is seasonal or systemic? Do we need to do everything we are doing? Are our p…
 
Have you ever wondered if God may be calling you to church revitalization. In this bonus episode of Revitalize and Replant, Thom and Kevin discuss five signs God wants to use you for this important work. Highlights: You want your life to be used by God. The need is great. You have the willingness to invest yourself in a congregation. You have a wil…
 
New leaders are excited for the challenge and organizations and seminaries have created focused programs and provide much needed support. Mark and Thom discuss these trends and other positive signs taking place within church revitalization. Highlights: The issue of awareness is huge (The “A” of the ABC Factor from Breakout Churches.) There is no lo…
 
Revitalization is not just a small church issue. Between 65%-90% of churches in North America are in need of revitalization. The work of church revitalization must be a group effort. Thom and Kevin share their perspectives regarding this absolute need for cooperation. Highlights: Revitalization is needed at most churches. We cannot do this task alo…
 
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