Home Podcast Sam Rainer: The Number One Rule of Church Revitalization

Sam Rainer: The Number One Rule of Church Revitalization

“There are a lot of good books out there that properly assess how bad the church is right now. And for the most part, they’re right; churches just aren’t healthy.”

“You can’t be a leader and be pessimistic, by definition. Pessimism is not leadership because the point of leadership is to take people to a better place, and so in order to be a leader, you at least have to be somewhat hopeful.”

“Surgeons have a checklist. Pilots have a checklist. They know what they’re doing. But they still walk through the checklist just to make sure that they don’t forget something, that it doesn’t become so routine that something gets missed. Well, most pastors, they know what they’re doing. They just need a checklist to help remind them of the things that are most important to stay focused on.”

“My first church had six people, no air conditioning, and they’d just gotten rid of the outhouse. So you know, what do you do with that in a rural, dying community? By dying, I don’t mean the people were bad. I just mean that it was drying up.”

“The number one rule of revitalization is never tell your church that you’re revitalizing them because churches don’t like to admit, ‘We need revitalization.’”

“I think that’s a lot of churches. It’s not all bad. There’s some good there, and let’s focus on the things that we know we can do.”

“Revitalization is scrappy. It’s, let’s work on what we can work on.”

“Any step forward is good movement. So just take that step forward.”

“One of the major differences between church planting and revitalization is the church planter can really thrive in the area of creativity and vision. And for revitalization there needs a little more political shrewdness to operate in a system that’s been there for a hundred years.”

“You don’t lead from a place of vision at an established church as much you you as do from strategy. Strategy becomes a lot more important at an established church because everyone’s heard a new vision over and over again.”

“Can you revitalize a church in a short amount of time? Yes, you can. It is theoretically possible. It is not how you need to lead.”

“Perseverance is absolutely necessary in a revitalization because inevitably people are going to leave. They’re going to figure you out. Inevitably, you’re going to have a crisis at some point because you actually change something and there’s going to be people there that have a lot more leverage than you, especially if you’re a younger person.”

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.