Featured Replanter: Justin McLendon

By Replant

Justin McLendon
First Baptist Church of St. John
Yrs @ Church: 1
Our Church is a: Church Revitalization

What led you to Church Revitalization or Replanting?

I knew I would have to pursue a revitalization effort when God led me to this church. I didn’t know all that it would mean, but I knew the church had endured long periods of plateau or decline.

What have been your top 3 challenges as leader/pastor in this revitalization/replanting effort?
1. Determining the order of issues that need addressing.
2. Discovering the causes of the church’s recent past and articulating solutions to leaders.
3. Articulating the aspects of the church that need significant attention.

What are three “If I could start all over again” learnings you have as result of your work?

1. I would have begun looking for leaders immediately instead of beginning the investigation process.
2. I don’t ever pray enough. This is a lost cause without prayer. I’m learning more and more to seek God’s wisdom.
3. I would do a better job ignoring the naysayers

How is God showing Himself faithful in your work? Where do you see Him at work?

I see a growing desire to know God more in the Word. There is a developing hunger for God to speak to us during the preaching time. I sense a growing desire among the younger adults to take ownership. I hope to cultivate this even more.

What words of wisdom would you give to those considering Church Replanting or Revitalization?

Every church is so different. I would encourage anyone in this type of ministry to seek to learn as much as he possibly can about the personality, history, people, and community of the church. I would also tell my brother to make connections with other like-minded brothers who are striving to see God work at their churches as well. I’ve learned much and I’ve been greatly encouraged by the wisdom of other pastors.

What resources have been most helpful to you and your Church as you seek to be Replanted/Revitalized?

I’m a big fan of 9 Marks materials, and I would like to think that my approach to this church is an aspect of the church health model from 9 Marks rather than a seeker/church growth model.

Where do you see the movement of Legacy Church Planting/Church Revitalization going?

Personally, I think a large percentage of churches in urban areas where the word “Baptist” is a part of the name will have to undergo some aspect of revitalization. Most of the existing/traditional Baptist churches that I am aware of in the STL area are in need of gospel and spiritual renewal. May God grant it for His glory! 

Is God calling you to Legacy Church Planting? Join the movement

Published March 5, 2015

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The Replant team of the North American Mission Board works to reverse the death and decline rate of Churches. For more information and resources on Replanting go to www.namb.net/replant and follow @churchreplanter.