ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The North American Mission Board (NAMB) will partner with Thom Rainer’s new Revitalize Network to provide resources, tools and coaching to churches in need of revitalization outside the South. NAMB and Rainer announced the partnership on September 6.
“One of the biggest things we hear expressed from established churches outside the South is the need for revitalization resources,” said NAMB president Kevin Ezell. “Thom’s new network will offer a great solution for that. This will revolutionize the access these churches have to revitalization tools.”
Through the NAMB-Revitalize Network partnership, NAMB will help pay for a revitalize “bundle” churches can purchase. The bundle includes assessments that will help a pastor better know himself, his church and the community his church is trying to reach.
“Kevin has a passion for the Great Commission, for reaching lost people, and for helping churches move to greater health,” Rainer said. “I am thrilled the North American Mission Board will be a key ministry partner with Revitalize Network. It is indicative of the great mission and vision of both NAMB and its leaders.”
Rainer announced Aug. 27 that he would retire from LifeWay after his replacement is found or by the end of August 2019, whichever comes first. The Revitalize Network launched September 10 with LifeWay Christian Resources, California Baptist University and Brentwood Baptist Church also serving as partners along with NAMB.
For years NAMB has provided funding to state Baptist conventions for them to use on church revitalization efforts. That funding will continue, but through the new partnership NAMB will work with state conventions outside the South to identify churches that could benefit from the Revitalize bundle and cover half the cost for the church.
“We want to see healthy churches that are reaching people for Christ,” Ezell said. “That is the goal we have for every church we help Southern Baptists plant and that’s our goal with this new partnership. Many state conventions in the South offer great revitalization resources for their churches, but outside the South, this is a bigger need.”
The resources will be available to churches throughout North America, but NAMB’s focus will be to help churches located outside the South.
In addition to the assessment tools, the revitalize bundle will include the services of a coach who will work with a pastor during key stages and help him build a roadmap for the revitalization process.
NAMB will also continue to sponsor the Revitalize & Replant podcast which is co-hosted by Rainer and Mark Clifton who leads church replanting efforts for NAMB.
The Revitalize Network will also provide networking with other churches involved in the revitalization process, church facility evaluations, educational scholarships, as well as assistance with church mergers and acquisitions.
Both Rainer and Ezell expressed hope that the new partnership will help many churches get on the pathway to better health.
“I believe this new partnership will be the beginning of a wave of church revitalizations across North America,” Rainer said.
“We can’t afford to have any churches on the sidelines,” said Ezell. “Every church has a role to play in the Great Commission assignment we have been given.”
For more information about the Revitalize Network, visit: RevitalizeNetwork.org
For more information about NAMB’s church replanting resources, visit: https://www.namb.net/church-replanting/.
This article was prepared by the communications staff of the North American Mission Board.
Published September 25, 2018