5 Things Replanting is not

By Bob Bickford

Just another Pastoral Position: many churches are in search of their next pastor. A church needing to be replanted is one that will close its doors soon if something doesn’t change. A Replant Pastor is a Pastor yes, but he is also called to strategically lead the congregation through difficult decisions and necessary changes that will provide the possibility of a return to vitality.

Simply Remodeling, Rebranding, or Relocating an existing Church: these may occur in a church that is being replanted but they are secondary to the greater work of God renewing the church from within. A truly Replanted Church is one that was about to die, faced it’s future and asked God to renew it from within. You can make surface changes and not have a truly Replanted Church.

Easy: while this might go without saying the simple fact is that Replanting is hard work. In fact, some say that Replanting is much more difficult than planting a Church.

Quick or Fast: one of my new Replanting Pastor friends, Brian Croft, believes that God calls a Replanter to go and stay. Turning around a church is not typically fast, it’s slow, long and laborious work. It is three steps forward and ten steps backward. If you’re looking to move around, if you desire quick results, if you get bored easily or have a track record of leaving at the first signs of trouble_!!’I can say with great confidence that Replanting is not for you.

Impossible: A historic quote about dying churches goes something like this; “It’s easier to give birth to a new church than to resurrect a dead one.” That is true in many cases. It’s also true that it’s easier to do nothing about the churches that are near death. God has not called us to easy, he has called us to be faithful. If God is calling you to the work of Replanting you must know that it is not impossible. God makes all things new and he specializes in raising what was once dead for his glory.

Published April 6, 2016

P.S. Get our best content in your inbox

We send one email per month full of articles from a variety of Replanting voices.

Bob Bickford

Bob Bickford is a Replant Pastor in suburban St. Louis, serves as the Associate Director of Replant for the North American Mission Board and is the co-author of Am I a Replanter,  Pathways to Partnership and the Associational Replanting Guide. Follow Bob on twitter @bobick