September 1st, 2014
Paul had a desire to reach people for Christ in disciple making and to make a significant difference.
I Thessalonians 2:8 NKJV
“So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.”
Read the remaining of Chapter Two. Note verse 20 – “For you are our glory and joy.”
What if we in church leadership took Paul’s attitude to the older established churches? What if we saw the established and aged churches as an abundant resource and oasis for new life! What if we could investigate their origins and discover why the Spirit led individuals to plant them.
What if their original intent could be re-started, revived and the church could be re-planted.
Thousands of churches across America are near death. Yet, many of these are sitting on vast treasures of land, buildings and spiritual heritage. The gold must be re-dug and re-shaped to a usable form!
Note these words by Ed Stetzer:
“So is there a way to unite the interests of churches looking to plant and churches in need of replanting and renewal? I would argue that there is a way.
Churches looking to multiply and plant are in need of additional space and footholds in new communities. Churches and pastors seeking renewal and looking to replant are often in need of resources and a new influx of gospel-centered individuals and vision. Replant provides us with the opportunity to see the firsthand account of this intersection of multiplication and renewal.
If churches are going to multiply and share the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout their communities and around the world, they must have a passion for evangelism and a true love for both planting new churches and replanting established churches in need of renewal. Evangelism is the catalyst for church multiplication and the renewal of the body of Christ worldwide.”
- Pray for the conference leaders to have a mind-set change – that is to see the older plateaued churches as resources.
- Pray for the local church leaders to see that they can be replanted – that they are still a lifeboat – that they will see the numbers dying in the sea of sin and not focus on the size or condition of their boat.
- Pray for new strategies of re-start, re-birth, re-vival and re-plant.
- Pray for local and church leaders to release control to Spirit-directed pastors and to new leaders that will arise.
- Pray for Spirit-directed pastors, elders and deacons that will value the call of the past and then re-focus it to the present and future.
- Pray for leaders to be authentic
- Pray for leaders to let their preferences go in worship styles, schedules, and sermon styles in order to be relevant to the day and age.
- Pray for new systems to be developed to meet the new challenges.
There is another move of the Spirit to reach the urban centers of America. In many of these urban centers, there are buildings that house only a handful of Christians. May the Lord guide to re-start, re-birth, re-vive, and yes, even to re-plant.
D. Chris Thompson
Executive Director, EVUSA