Revitalize & Replant: A new resource from NAMB and Lifeway

October 3, 2017

By: Lifeway Christian Resources

New podcast aims to boost church revitalization

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Two Southern Baptist leaders with experience and expertise in church revitalization are joining together for a podcast to assist churches in danger of shutting their doors.

In "Revitalize & Replant with Thom Rainer," the president of LifeWay Christian Resources will explore challenges in turning a church around and answer questions from those serving in struggling congregations.

Mark Clifton, senior director of replanting at the North American Mission Board, will join Rainer for half of the podcast episodes.

Launching Oct. 5, the weekly podcast will be a joint venture between LifeWay and NAMB. Jonathan Howe, LifeWay's director of strategic initiatives, will serve as the podcast's host.

"Because I share [NAMB President] Kevin Ezell's and the North American Mission Board's passion for healthier churches, I'm excited to have them partner with us to launch this podcast," Rainer said. "I want to use the platform God has given us to do everything we can to help churches across North America become as healthy as possible."

Rainer, in his books "Breakout Churches" and "Autopsy of a Deceased Church," said he has written about "the ways churches can turn around from seemingly hopeless situations. Revitalize & Replant allows me the opportunity to respond directly to questions from pastors and church leaders in those circumstances and give hope to them and others.

Having Clifton as part of the podcast "will be a great asset," Rainer said. "He has an undeniable desire to see churches become revitalized and renewed."

Clifton noted, "From speaking with him personally and reading his books and blogs, I know Thom Rainer and I share the same message -- a message of hope for local church pastors. LifeWay and NAMB have unique resources that enable us to work together so effectively for this project."

Each episode will feature a listener question as the starting point for a discussion about what pastors and church leaders can do to help revitalize their churches.

"We will give specific, practical answers that can be implemented right away," Clifton said.

Leaders in declining churches often serve in isolation and feel uncomfortable reaching out, he said. "The podcast will be a safe place for pastors who are struggling. This will be friends sitting around the table talking about how we can help. There won't be any judging or condemnation.

"Thousands of leaders are going through this," Clifton said. "I want them to know they are not alone and to give hope that others have been through this battle before."

The podcast is not only for pastors at churches in need of revitalization but also for those who have a desire to help, he said. "Maybe someone has driven by a church closing down and thought, 'I wish I could do something.' Revitalize & Replant will share ways you can.

"It can also benefit pastors of larger churches who see other churches around them struggling and wonder how they might help."

In addition to the podcast, resources also will be available at Revitalize & Replant with Thom Rainer can be accessed at iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio.

This story appeared here in a compilation article on Baptist Press. 

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