- The Spiritual battle is great—you are attempting to reclaim ground that the enemy has held for years, victory will not come easy, it will be a battle. Be regular in prayer, alert and gather others who can pray for you as you begin your efforts in Replanting and revitalizing.
- The greater the length of the decline, the longer it will take to turn things around—the church didn’t get it where it is overnight. Turnarounds take a long time. Most experts estimate it takes between three and seven years to see a Church fully replanted or revitalized.
- Good people will leave-every Planter and Pastor will tell you that departures are common. Some of those leaving will be those who wanted you to come to the church and lead it forward—don’t be surprised if your greatest supporters become your most vocal opponents.
- Everyone says they want change—but not many really do. Change to some likely means they want you to bring more people, energy and excitement to the church—they just want you to do it through existing programs without changing anything.
- Most of the leaders are hopeful, but they are also tired. As a church declines most of those left will be serving in multiple areas. Don’t be surprised if they resign their positions of leadership but stay in your church. It’s important to let them rest for a while.
- They may have heard it before—likely, the Pastor before you had the same ideas to bring renewal to the church. If they are skeptical, it’s probably because they are concerned you might leave if things don’t begin to move forward quickly.
- They want to know if you will be their Pastor—the congregation didn’t primarily call you to be a CEO or turn around specialist, they called you to love them and Pastor them while you lead them. Take time getting to know them, build trust and they will follow you.
7 Observations as a Replanter