Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: The Ultimate Reason

The Ultimate Reason: The praise and glory of God’s name throughout the earth. The praise and glory of God’s name throughout the earth is the ultimate goal, the ultimate end, in church replanting. The reason that God’s glory must be our ultimate goal is because He alone is worthy of glory. Moreover, God desires to be glorified and He has invited us to joyfully pursue the glory of His name in and through our lives, as well as through our ministries. This included the replanting of churches. There’s probably no text in the Bible that reveals the passion that God has for His own glory more than what we see in Isiah 48:9 – 11. This is where we read the Lord speaking, For my name’s sake I defer my

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #6

#6: Fresh vision, ideas, and ministry strategies for other declining churches. Dying churches receive hope when they see other struggling churches come back to life. But they receive more than just hope. Beyond the hope they receive, there are all kinds of practical ideas and ministry strategies that are gained in working with and learning from former declining churches. This is yet another great joy in church replanting. It’s not just for the sake of one church getting healthy, churches helping one another to become healthy again. As mentioned before, the vision we must have as the Church and as Christian leaders when it come to this conversation of replanting is not to see one or two churc

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #5

#5: Revitalized and replanted churches bring hope to other dying churches and the Body of Christ as a whole. I hope we would all agree that when we look at the New Testament, as Christians, as the body of Christ, we are to encourage one another. We are to spur one another on, to build one another up. Well, this is true not only as individuals, but as churches. What I can tell you is that there is nothing more encouraging to a declining congregation, a dying congregation, than to see other dying congregations be replanted and transformed, coming back to life. What a joy it is to visit with many dying churches and to share stories of the new life the Lord has brought to other congregations jus

Risk, Donuts, and Thriving Churches: How God is Growing His Church Unexpectedly in Denver

“We are ruthlessly biblical, to the point that it may look crazy and unwise. But I’d rather risk everything and take a shot in faith for the glory of God than do nothing and play it safe.” This is what Mark Hallock has to say about the network of churches he helped start in the Denver area, Calvary Family of Churches. I recently had the opportunity to interview Hallock, and what I was immediately struck by was his obvious passion for the work of the ministry; it’s difficult to underestimate how animated (and animating, I might add) this Denver-based pastor gets when talking about the work that God is doing in the “donut” of Denver. Oh, you’ve never heard of the “donut?” Don’t worry, neither

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #4

#4: The God-honoring stewardship of money, buildings, and other resources. One of the great blessings of replanting a congregation is the opportunity to steward God-given resources that have been handed down throughout the history of a declining congregation. This is another reason why we need to become more serious about and passionate about replanting. Matt Schmucker is right when he writes: Billions of dollars, donated by faithful Christians over many decades, have been invested in land and buildings. Today, those buildings are too often underutilized or even empty—mere monuments to the past. Church planters often shun these resources and don’t think twice about pursuing the potentially l

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #3

#3: We must seek to be true to the biblical mandate to make disciples who make disciples. As His followers, Jesus has given us a clear mission. Our mission is to make disciples who make disciples. It is that simple. This is what we’re called to do both as individuals and as congregations. Jesus is speaking to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 – 20, when we read this: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #2

#2: The lost in our communities need to see joyful, passionate, Gospel-centered congregations alive and on mission! Sadly, all too often declining churches have become “non-factors” in their communities. Where perhaps at one time this church was a central hub serving various needs in the community, many times, they have become nothing more than an eye-sore to those in the neighborhood. Sadly, I have visited with non-believers in different cities who would just as soon see dying churches in their neighborhoods disappear and become restaurants or apartment complexes than for them to remain as they are: Non-factors in the neighborhood. This must never be! How desperately neighborhoods all acros

Defining Terms: Planting vs. Replanting vs. Revitalization

I am often asked what the difference is between these three types of ministry. Here is a short teaching I do that will hopefully help bring some clarity to this conversation. The audio is here. The student notes with fill-in the blanks are here.

Why We Must Replant Dying Churches Now: Reason #1

“I’m just not convinced that replanting churches is a good way to go. I’ve just seen so many churches that say they want to get healthy but when it comes down to it, they’re not willing to what it really takes to get there. I mean, come on Mark, do you really believe replanting churches is a wise use of time, money, and other resources? Wouldn’t it be more effective to just let these dying churches die?” This was a conversation I had recently with a pastor friend of mine over coffee. I wish I could say this conversation was the only one of its kind, but the truth is, I hear these concerns regularly from pastors and church leaders all over the country. Is my friend right? Is this replanting t

Preaching And Leading Go Hand In Hand

One of the key passages in the New Testament that combines pastoral leadership with preaching is 1 Timothy 5:17 which states, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” When Paul mentions elders or pastors who “rule well” or “lead diligently,” what exactly does this mean in light of the shepherding metaphors used throughout the Bible? Can a pastor preach and teach and yet not lead well? Conversely, can he lead well without teaching and preaching? John Maxwell says, “You can be a good preacher and not a good leader but you cannot be a good leader without being a good preacher.” In 1 Timothy 5:17, Paul encourages t

Excited About Conflict

Bob sounded frantic and distraught when I answered his call. “Pastor,” he said, “you’ll never believe what I did.” He went on to talk about how he’d made one of those dreaded and embarrassing texting faux pas we all hope will never happen to us. He was responding to a member of his community group who had been hosting parties at their house to try and connect with those outside the church. Bob told him that he couldn’t make it this time but that he was really pumped to see how many people from outside the church were getting involved and connecting. He mentioned one couple in particular: “Josh and Sherry have really appreciated being invited. They don’t have a lot of money and aren’t ab

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