By Thom S. Rainer

We are encouraged in the midst of bad news.

I know. The statement sounds contradictory. Let me explain.

The bad news is that somewhere between 70% and 90% of churches need revitalization. That’s a wide range, but revitalization does not always have a precise definition. Regardless, there are a lot of churches needing revitalization.

The good news is there is a greater acceptance and a greater awareness of the need. With that acceptance and awareness comes a greater willingness to do something about it.

We are totally committed to helping churches revitalize. Through our two organizations, Church Answers and Revitalize Network, we are ready to help as many churches as possible. As the awareness of our resources has become widely disseminated, we get a lot of questions about revitalization. I thought you might enjoy seeing the seven most frequently asked questions. It will give you an idea where both the pain and hope reside.

  1. Is my church situation hopeless? Sure, we’ve seen many churches close their doors. But we’ve also seen God’s hand work in miraculous ways in many churches. I do not believe any situation has to be hopeless.
  2. What do I do if my members do not want to change? I have rarely known a church of any size that did not have a couple of members willing to walk alongside a pastor to move a church to revitalization. True revitalization often begins with the few, not the masses.
  3. Does revitalization cost a lot of money? The statement, “We don’t have enough money for revitalization” is one of the greatest fallacies in these efforts. Churches don’t need more money; they need members with greater obedience.
  4. What do I do if my pastor doesn’t want to lead our church in revitalization?Admittedly, revitalization is very difficult if the pastor is not leading the effort. But, before you assume your pastor is in that category, offer to walk alongside him to help reach the community. You might be surprised at his response.
  5. What do we do if our denomination doesn’t want to help our church revitalize? That question is a copout. It presumes a church needs the resources of a denomination to move forward. Humbug! God has given every church all the resources she needs. Don’t make the denomination the scapegoat.
  6. How will we know if our church is really revitalizing? You will know.
  7. Where do I begin to get help for revitalization? That question can be answered in a number of ways. There are plenty of resources available. We have a new resource noted below.

Church Answers is offering one of the best guides on revitalization available. It is called “Leading a Church to Start a Fresh Revitalization.” We will offer a five-month coaching cohort for leaders who want to see their churches revitalize, and for consultants, denominational leaders, and others who want to help them revitalize. Join Chuck Lawless, Mark Clifton, Sam Rainer, and me as we lead you on this five-month journey.

This article was originally published at on MAY 6, 2019. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam,  Art, and Jess; and ten grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at

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