How can I get involved in the replanting of dying churches? - Part 1
Perhaps you are sitting there and you are sold on the idea of church replanting. You understand the sad reality that congregations in our country are sick and dying and they need radical help. The question is this: How can you, and perhaps your church, get involved in the replanting of dying churches? I want to encourage you to consider several specific ways you can get involved in the replanting of dying churches right now.
As you consider these different avenues of involvement, perhaps you will need to find a specific replant to partner with if you aren’t already connected to one. If this is the case, you may want to reach out to pastors or denominational leaders who may be aware of new replants being started in your area. You can also find a helpful list of current replants at churchreplanters.com. Simply click on the Replant Map and find a replant near you that you can begin building a relationship with. Let’s briefly consider four specific ways you can get involved.
#1: Pray for particular replants and their leaders
As with other types of ministry, those involved in church replanting need faithful prayer support. I’m reminded of Ephesians 6:18–20, where the Apostle Paul unapologetically asks the Christians in Ephesus to pray for him and his ministry:
…at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Prayer must be a top priority in our church replanting efforts. Let me share twelve specific ways you can intentionally be in prayer for both replanters and their families, as well as newly replanted congregations. It would be worthwhile to ask others to join you in praying for these twelve things on a regular and consistent basis.
1. Pray for a particular church replant and its leaders, that they will keep their eyes on God, not taking a step apart from His leading.
2. Pray for courage and boldness to go where the Lord leads them.
3. Pray for humility before the Lord and people, prioritizing the raising up of other leaders in the replant.
4. Pray the replant and its leaders will not rely on their own strength, but trust in the Lord’s strength.
5. Pray for a deep heart of love and grace in those leading this new replant.
6. Pray for the health of marriages and families in this replanted congregation.
7. Pray the replant and its leaders will walk worthy of the calling God has placed on their lives.
8. Pray for the replanter to preach the Word and the Gospel boldly.
9. Pray for God to destroy idols in the hearts of the leaders and in the hearts of those in the congregation.
10. Pray for God-honoring unity in the congregation.
11. Pray the replant and its leaders will do whatever it takes to reach the lost in their community.
12. Pray for the making of disciples who make disciples in and through the replant.
Consider adding specific prayer requests to this list of twelve on a regular basis. Ask the pastor and leaders of a new replant for specific prayer requests that you can bring before the Lord on their behalf. Be sure to let these leaders know you are praying for them. There is nothing more encouraging than knowing other brothers and sisters are praying on your behalf!