Featured Replanter: Scott Rowan

By Replant

How has God drawn you to the work of Replanting?

Our denomination plants around 1300 churches each year, which is an incredible number! Unfortunately, we also close 1000 churches each year. Even while serving at the Summit Church, in an environment that emphasized church planting, it was always that second number that captured my heart. For the mission of God to go forward, both of these numbers need to change. We need more church plants, but we also need to avoid church closures.

In what context are you looking to Replant?

I grew up in South Florida and always felt a draw to return and serve God there. Interestingly enough, the greater Miami area (from Key West to Jupiter) is one of the North American Mission Board’s Send Cities, identified because of its cultural influence and need for gospel-centered churches. Palm Beach County, where I will be serving, has a particularly great need. The Barna Group just released a report ranking Palm Beach County as the 11th most unchurched city in the United States. More surprising, however, it ranked 1st in the percentage of “never churched” people. 1 in 6 of the 1.3 million people in Palm Beach County have never been to a Christian (Catholic, mainline, evangelical, etc.) worship service in their life.

We are actively seeking opportunities to lead a Church Replant in Palm Beach County, FL and would love to hear from a church interested in replanting

What do you believe God is doing through the work of Replanting Churches?

There is a story in the Book of Exodus where God becomes so frustrated with the stubbornness and idolatry of the people of Israel that he threatens to destroy them. Moses, however, steps in and advocates on behalf of the people. His reasoning? If God (justly!) destroyed the people, his reputation would be tarnished in the eyes of the Egyptians. Replanters, I think, are a little like Moses.

Church replanting is not primarily a church health issue. It is an issue of God’s glory and begins with the conviction that God is not glorified when churches shut their doors, sell to an outside group, and reopen as a restaurant. With this new movement toward church replanting, God is not helping to rebuild Towers of Babel. He is creating unmistakable signposts to a cross and an empty grave.

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

There are already churches and organizations in this country pursuing church revitalization in their contexts, and there are many that are doing incredible work. Some of this work, however, seems more about Church Growth than Church Rebirth.

My prayer is that church replanting would be seen as more than just a facelift, and I think this is where God is leading the movement. Dying churches don’t need a new worship team, website, and children’s ministry, although these can certainly help! Dying churches need a refocus on the Gospel, a renewed passion for mission, and a reinvigorated congregation that longs to see Jesus made famous in their families and in their community.

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

In July, my family sold our home and moved everything down to South Florida. While I begin to have conversations with churches and prayerfully seek a call, I am serving as the Associate of Ministries for Connect Church West, a revitalization/replant supported by First Baptist Church of Royal Palm Beach and the Palm Beach Baptist Network.

Last week, Connect Church West celebrated the 6-month anniversary of their relaunch. In that time, the church has increased in attendance from 30 to 120 adults. They are now seeing upwards of 30 children attend Sunday morning children’s programs. They have baptized 12 people. They have seen 7 adults and 3 children make first-time commitments to Christ. God is clearly doing something amazing here and He is not finished.

At the same time, God is doing a lot of work in my heart, revealing (and consequently crushing!) idols and growing in me the fruit of the Spirit. Revitalization begins in the replanter.

How can a sending church or ministry partner support your work?

  • Partner in Prayer. Prayer is the most significant work in revitalization. Everything that I do needs to be supported by it. I regularly send prayer updates to my support team and would invite you to join me there! Fill out the online form here to join.
  • Partner in Giving. My work is currently being supported financially by churches and other ministry partners. Please prayerfully consider partnering with my family by either providing a one-time or recurring gift. You can give or find out more information on this site.
  • Partner in Community. I would love the opportunity to talk with and connect with anyone about my work and my call to revitalization. Send me an email .

Featured Replanters have completed an assessment process and have received affirmation on their calling and competencies for the work of Church Replanting. We encourage Churches, ministry partners and sending agencies to contact the candidate directly regarding support and potential opportunities.

Published October 9, 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.