So many churches that were once thriving, healthy, disciple-making churches find themselves in the position of needing to be revitalized and replanted. Long-time members remember bygone days and hold them dearly because they experienced something supernatural—the presence of God, and the redemption and healing that comes along with people coming to know Christ.
But communities change, and sometimes, churches can’t keep pace with their surrounding communities. The programs and outreach initiatives that once served the community so well and led to many knowing about the love of Jesus, no longer provide the same outcome.
Fortunately, we serve a God who doesn’t give up on His people. We know that God loves the Church.
We believe that the local church is God’s “plan A” for making His name known all over the world—and there is no “plan B.” We trust that this plan is a perfect plan because God is perfect. But, we are an imperfect people and must completely rely on God in every aspect.
The starting point for this reliance is prayer. When we open up communication with God, we acknowledge the reality that He is in the lead.
Here are three simple prayers to guide you if your church is struggling to survive or considering replanting itself.
- Lord, do not let us hinder what You want to do in the future.
God honors humility and uses those who come to Him with a humble spirit. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Trust that God can redeem any and all circumstances for His glory and don’t let pride stand in the way of being a part of this great work.
- Give us a passion for the next generation.
God wants us all to play a part in the body of Christ. Replanting shouldn’t be approached with the mentality “out with the old, in with the new.” It should be a marriage of the old with the new. You may feel uncomfortable at times, but opening yourself up to new traditions will foster a place for the next generation to step up and carry out the same good news of Christ to a changing world.
- Show us how to love the community around us.
This prayer should be consistently on the heart of every church. God has called us to be servants so that others may know His love. Knowing how to best serve your community is the also the best way to love your community. Ask God to open up your eyes to the people around you. Look for areas in your community that are not thriving and find a way to help.
We often have to say bittersweet goodbyes to things we love to make room for new growth and make a way for God to do a new, exciting work. What if by doing so, you actually allowed God to recreate, in a new way, those days you look back on so dearly for the next generation? What if by doing so, you made way for the Holy Spirit to do a supernatural work even greater than the last?
Watch the latest episode of We Are Send Network and hear how God used a Replanted church to reach the next generation in a community.
Published October 3, 2019