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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team. By Dr. Tom Cheyney Tom@renovateconference.org tcheyney@goba.org. Twitter & Facebook:RenovateConference RenovateConference.org. Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team.

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determine the composition of the associations revitalization team

Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

By

Dr. Tom Cheyney

Tom@renovateconference.org

tcheyney@goba.org

Twitter & Facebook:RenovateConference

RenovateConference.org

determine the composition of the associations revitalization team1
Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

To get the app, you can go to the Google Play Store or the Apple Apps Store and search for Renovate Conference. You can download a copy of this presentation or subscribe to the Church Revitalizer Weekly Blog from Tom Cheyney.

slide3

A copy of this presentation can be downloaded at:

www.RenovateConference.org/downloads

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

what does church revitalization mean
What Does Church Revitalization Mean?

Every place I go people ask me for a definition of church revitalization. Church Revitalization is a movement within protestant evangelicalism, which emphasizes the missional work of turning a plateau or rapidly declining church around and moving it back towards growth. It is lead through a Church Revitalization Initiative, which is when a local church begins to work on the renewal of the church with a concerted effort to see the ministry revitalized and the church become healthy. Church Revitalization means that the local church knew how, at one time previously, to renew, revitalize, and re- establish the health and vitality of the ministry. One of the challenges for the laity in the day in which we live is that they have lost the knowledge of church renewal and no longer want to cultivate the skill sets necessary to see their church experience revitalization. Even more sad is when a congregation does not have the corporate memory that there was a day when the local church was reaching people for Christ Jesus and active as evangelistic witnesses into their community.

statistical realities concerning church revitalization
Statistical Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Did you know that:

•There are 344,000 protestant evangelical churches from the eight mainline denominations in the western hemisphere, which are in plateau and decline.

•95% of all churches in North America average 100 or less.

statistical realities concerning church revitalization1
Statistical Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Did you know that:

•Over 82% of American Churches are in decline or on a plateau.

•Each year 3,500 to 4,000 churches die in North America (900 last year within our Denomination alone).

statistical realities concerning church revitalization2
Statistical Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Did you know that:

•Studies have shown that churches typically plateau in attendance by their fifteenth year, and by year 35 they begin having trouble replacing the members they lose.

•They have the inability to regain the critical mass necessary to regrow the church utilizing the tools and techniques they are presently employing.

statistical realities concerning church revitalization3
Statistical Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Did you know that:

•50 – 60 churches in North America close their door every week.

realities concerning church revitalization
Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Lyle Schaller reminds us that 85,000 evangelical churches are running fewer than 50 on Sunday.

Being aware of their “critical” condition, however, is not enough.

They have got to become convinced they need “major” surgical treatment.

As association and network leaders we must do the hard stuff of revitalization and renewal.

shortage of pastors for church revitalization
Shortage of pastors for Church Revitalization

In the next 15 years there will be a growing shortage of pastors willing to fill our churches, which have low renewal potential.

In our denomination we have 6,000 Southern Baptist Pastors who leave their ministries each year. More than 200 pastors are fired each month. In one recent article from LifeWay there are 70,000 vacant pulpits in America.

statistical realities concerning church revitalization4
Statistical Realities Concerning Church Revitalization

Did you know that:

A more recent series of studies (The State of the Church) was conducted by Bill Day; Associate Director of the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health, who serves the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as the Gurney Professor of Evangelism and Church Health in his sequential studies on church health and growth of 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013 where he reports that currently there are less than seven percent (6.8) of our SBC churches which are healthy growing churches. That means 3,087 of our 45,727 SBC churches are healthy.

even today s healthy churches need renewal
even today’s healthy churches need Renewal

Church Revitalization is important because so many churches are dying and or are all but dead. It is also important because even today’s healthy churches run the risk of developing the same illness that other churches are experiencing. God’s people desperately need a biblical foundation for church revitalization! Many Christians today actually attend a local church, which needs to consider learning and practicing the various principles for Revitalizing Churches.

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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

When putting together the Associations Church Revitalization Assistance Team always start with players who have the right stuff and then let it push out to the water’s edge. You want a team that is quite able, well led, and displays the right characteristics.

eight questions for determining your readiness to implement renewal in your association
Eight Questions for Determining Your Readiness to Implement Renewal in Your Association

How do you know if your association is ready to participate in Church Revitalization and Renewal?

  • Start with asking yourself these following eight questions.
  • The more you and your network can answer these questions affirmatively, the more prepared you are to begin the church revitalization process within your association.
eight questions for determining your readiness to implement renewal in your association1
Eight Questions for Determining Your Readiness to Implement Renewal in Your Association

1) Do you and your association leaders have a burden for lost people and a willingness to see churches revitalized and become healthy? Has a leader surfaced to lead out?

2) Has your association shown a willingness to step out in faith and try new things?

3) Do you have a renewal vision for your city and region?

4) Are your leader’s spiritually mature and able to discern God’s movement towards revitalization?

5) Has your network practiced a generous spirit?

6) Are you as the Leader willing to risk in order to make an impact?

7) Does your association have a genuine kingdom mindset?

8) Are you willing to invest resources (people & finances) towards renewing the churches within your association?

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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Here are some key member characteristics of the church revitalization assistance team:

Collaboration

  • The member’s must be willing to work together and build the ability to work together as a unified core and not individual MVP’s!
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Here are some key member characteristics of the church revitalization assistance team:

Dedication

  • Team members must be sold on the idea of revitalizing churches and be fully committed to the task. Placing people on the team will not convince them of the need to renew a declining church.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Here are some key member characteristics of the church revitalization assistance team:

Evangelistic fervor

  • To serve effectively on a church revitalization assistance team members must believe in evangelism. Evangelistic thinkers will have the passion needed to build the Kingdom by renewing churches into healthy bodies once again.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Here are some key member characteristics of the church revitalization assistance team:

Optimism

  • Church revitalization is a challenging endeavor, so you do not want naysayers on your Church Revitalization Assistance Team. The best type of person to serve on this team are those people who can find the opportunity in every obstacle. They are optimistic about the cause and refuse to fuss and feud over nonessential matters.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Here are some key member characteristics of the church revitalization assistance team:

Faith

  • The Church Revitalization Assistance Team must be people of faith! They must be willing to believe God for the impossible. They must be able to embrace a vision of what an association of revitalized church looks like. They must be willing to look beyond what is seen to the unseen. That takes faith.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team Individual Member Gifts

As well as the previous characteristics which you will want in every person on the association team, additionally there are some specific gifts displayed by various members. It is wise to have at least one of each of these type of individuals on the team.

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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team

Individual Member Gifts

Strategic Thinking

  • You will need at least one strategic thinker on the team, someone who is adept at reasoning through a process. This person understands goals, objectives, plans, and strategic steps. Strategic thinkers typically ask penetrating questions.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team

Individual Member Gifts

Institutional Memory

  • This historian type individual helps the church avoid repeating mistakes. A long tenured pastor of the association or staff member is such a likely person.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team Individual Member Gifts

Ministry contribution

  • People who are active in the associations current ministries will contribute greatly to the team’s effectiveness. Determine which groups would be most helpful and involve them as they are needed.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team Individual Member Gifts

Creative Thinker

  • Creative thinkers are an asset to the Church Revitalization Assistance Team. Revitalizing plateaued churches is not a traditional endeavor. You will want people who see things a bit off center. These types of team members will stretch the rest of the team. Creative people force others to break free from the confines of conventional wisdom. They help the rest of the team to clearly see new options and think clearly about the choices it makes.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team
  • Who should lead the Associations Church Revitalization Assistance Team? Good Question!
  • What is the Operative Team Size?
  • I suggest 10-15 serve on an Associations CRAT to accompany the Associations Revitalization Leader.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team Responsibilities

The Church Revitalization Assistance Team will be responsible for at least the following actions:

  • Identify and recruit intercessors who will pray for the revitalization project.
  • Communicate a biblical understanding of church revitalization to the congregation.
  • Develop a biblical understanding of the directive to become healthy again.
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Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

Church Revitalization Assistance Team Responsibilities

  • The Church Revitalization Assistance Team will be responsible for at least the following actions:
    • Create awareness of the process of change that awaits a congregation interested in the journey. (A Missional Endeavor)
    • Clarify relationships and mutual expectations with denominational leaders and with the church attempting revitalization.
    • Create a timeline for the project and identify critical milestones.
determine the composition of the associations revitalization team characteristics gifts
Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team(Characteristics & Gifts)
  • (Dialogue and Q & A)
what it takes to get a church unstuck

What it Takes to Get a Church unstuck!

Additional training on this subject can be obtained form The Fly and the Fly Paper: How a Church Works to Become Unstuck. By Dr. Tom Cheyney in Boomerang Churches from RENOVATE Publishing Group Due out Summer 2014.

what it takes to get unstuck
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Here are some of the things that do not make you become stuck:

  • An undersized facility will cause you to become stagnant AND STUCK!

Stuckness is not a matter of having space problems.

  • Having staffing problems does not lead you to become a stuck church!

Stuckness is not a matter of having a large number of ministers, ones who do not like each other or a small number of staff.

what it takes to get unstuck1
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Here are some of the things that do not make you become stuck:

  • Most stuckness comes from a nebulous sense of sadness which eventually congeals into a more recognizable feeling of disappointment! (What happens next)
  • A consultant is hired & report given
  • Ideas are suggested but not acted upon
  • Eventually, the pastor is fired or leaves in disappointment.
what it takes to get unstuck2
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Key teaching point in church revitalization:

  • Sparking change in a congregation is beyond doubt risky business!

The simple fact:

  • Once you have revealed how and when your church has gotten stuck, you have tapped into something enormously unstable.
what it takes to get unstuck3
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

As the church revitalization team, depending on how you deal with the stuckness or polarization you have uncovered (this is not an overstatement) you are either playing with high explosives or you are igniting the fuel which can rocket a church to renewed life and vitality.

what it takes to get unstuck4
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

The first thing a CRAT must do is to get a congregation prepared emotionally before you begin to work with them and suggest making changes (any change not just the big ones)!

All of us have a natural resistance towards change. Our reluctance to let others make changes in our lives is intensified by our human tendency to strive for security and comfort when we know things are not quite right!

Church Revitalization Principle: This means the more we need to change, the less we are willing to change!

what it takes to get unstuck5
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Be light hearted in the midst of the hard things! When others perceive you as the leader to be anxious they become all the more and act upon that anxiety. It is the display of anxiety which is most likely to cause any leader to fail.

Church Revitalization Principle:

The one thing to guard against more than anything else as a revitalization leader is anxiety. To a great extent, learning to be playful and peaceful rather than anxious can defuse the explosiveness within a congregation you are working with (Mt. 10: 19-20).

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What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Stuckness Truth: (This is why we monthly train pastors and staff!)

  • Despite what many perceive as a dwindling authority of the preacher today, ministers are stilled viewed a congregational change agents.
  • Laity tend to believe that pastors have certain qualities such as: some intellect towards fixing this, a sense of divine calling, an education specifically designed to deal with congregational life, and the capacity to learn to the abstract sort of ideas and put them to use.
what it takes to get unstuck7
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

If a congregation is going to move forward, most members will usually expect the preacher to take the leading role. They will expect the preacher to be able to recognize what needs to be changed in the church and thus are not too surprised when he seeks to make those changes.

Work bi-monthly and do one on one traing in the off month.

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What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Lay people are more invested:

  • The laity who attend your churches are much more invested emotionally into the well being of those church (unless you planted this church) than the pastor who they see more as a preacher first.
  • Usually know how to figure out how the church got stuck and the personalities involved. Have history!
  • Are a lot more likely to be tolerated if they irritate other church member’s. Remember it is hard to fire someone who does not receive a paycheck.
  • Laity usually do not move on to other churches once they figure out how to un-stick the church. Include laity in your meetings if they ask to attend.
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What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Who is the best change agent for a church revitalization project?

Answer:

Ones ability to renew their church has more to do with them being courageous, perseverant, and playful than with whether they are a lay person or a pastor.

what qualities it takes to unstick a stuck church
What Qualities it Takes to Unstick a Stuck Church!
  • Once God is calls you to work towards revitalizing your fellowships, if you are going to start this process then you will need to know what sort of personal abilities it takes, what sort of tolls the process requires for those leading and those serving on the team.
  • Let’s take a look at the qualities a church revitalizer needs to learn in order to get his church unstuck.
  • While some people may be naturally gifted in these ways, the attributes we are talking about here can pretty much all be learned.
traits of a church revitalization leader
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!
  • Vision – The leader who wants to bring about change in a congregation must have vision. The vision for church revitalization includes knowing where you want the church to go, some idea of when it got stuck and a notion of how to go about getting it unstuck!
  • You do not need to know precisely where you want the church to go.
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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Vision

Sometimes a mending church becomes a tidal wave of vitality, and tidal waves are notoriously difficult to steer.

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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Persistence

The leader who wants to bring about change within a congregation must have additionally persistence. There is a degree of obnoxiously and calmly persistence that is a real key to un-sticking your church.

It is important because as a leader you will encounter:

  • distracters,
  • detractors, and
  • defectors.
traits of a church revitalization leader3
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Persistence

  • Distracters,
  • Detractors, and
  • Defectors.

These are people who will respond to their own anxiety by trying to lure your focus away from your vision for the church by criticizing you and your ideas, and by being such terrible supporters that you will wish they were your opponents.

traits of a church revitalization leader4
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

The ability to anticipate resistance and sabotage

Can you guess who will work double time to prevent you from unsticking your church?

  • Ask this question: “Who within the church family is going to mess things up and how are they going to do it?”
  • The is a very important question for those who want to revitalize their church fellowship.
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What Qualities it Takes to Unstick a Stuck Church!

Folks are never more creative than when they are raining on someone else’s parade!

The important thing is to remember that such interference can and will occur and to decide that, when it does, you will not be deterred from pursuing your goal.

traits of a church revitalization leader5
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Playfulness

The leader who wants to bring about change in a congregation must have the quality of playfulness.

Point: Because we love our churches as we do and we recognize that they must change if they are going to thrive or simply survive, our concern for them has a tendency to make us really serious.

traits of a church revitalization leader6
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Playfulness

Seriousness is the fertile breeding ground of anxiety!

Anxiety ignites hostility, polarity and despair in a congregation.

By maintaining a playful attitude there is tendency to defuse all those negative things.

traits of a church revitalization leader7
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Playfulness – Could be:

  • Humor
  • Quips
  • Cleverness
  • Witty remarks
  • Ability to not get upset
  • Shrug it off

Just remember we can’t always be playful so use it wisely when you need to defuse a situation!

traits of a church revitalization leader8
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

The fact that there will be opposition to your ideas and that you will have critics and detractors means that as you proceed there will be winners and losers in your efforts to revitalize churches within your network!

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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

The Ability to Stay Connected

The leader who wants to bring about change in a congregation must have and demonstrate regularly the ability to stay connected with key individuals within the congregation, even those who do not particularly like you or you like them!

traits of a church revitalization leader10
Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

The Ability to Stay Connected

  • Connectedness has to do with having an open, honest, non-anxious relationship with those who will be touched by the changes you are trying to instigate, and especially those who have strong emotions about those changes.
  • Mere connectedness goes a long way toward defusing both anxiety and resistance.
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What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Remember this key lesson:

Even your loyal opposition have a vested interest in your church revitalization efforts being successful! They need to be reminded frequently that their leader is along side them emotionally. I think that is the emotional process behind being connected.

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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

You must become an Anxiety Shock Absorber

The leader who wants to bring about change within an association or a congregation must become an anxiety shock absorber.

  • A person with this quality can successfully resist the avalanche of anxiety which is bowling over everyone else.
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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

You must become an Anxiety Shock Absorber

The mere suggestion of change is enough to spark upset– “ness” throughout the entire membership.

Once change begins to happen the anxiety level rises even higher!

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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

You must become an Anxiety Shock Absorber

If you stay calm and demonstrate that you are not going to let the process of revitalization get derailed it usually has a calming, quieting effect on the entire church you are working with.

what it takes to get u nstuck
What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Remember as the church revitalizer:

You are the guy in charge of staying cool when everybody else is freaking out!

That is a big part of any church revitalization persona.

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What it Takes to Get unstuck!

The opposite side of the coin:

It is invariably destructive when a church revitalization leader is unable to remain calm while the rest of the members are feeling anxious. The anxiety of a leader can instantly impede the process of change.

Also there seems to be a connection between pastors and other leaders who cannot rise above the tension of the moment – particularly if they are being criticized – and the failure and termination of their leadership.

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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Put on your emotional Teflon

The leader who wants to bring about change within a congregation must put on daily his emotional Teflon. If you desire to revitalize churches the ability to cover yourself in emotional Teflon is a must.

You must let the ugly stuff slide off of you without changing your demeanor, the way you feel about yourself, or the way you respond to these anxious folks who are acting childishly. As the leader of the CRAT this is vital and anything less is detrimental!

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What it Takes to Get Unstuck!

Tactic you will observe from the membership:

  • Resistance tactics
  • Delaying tactics
  • Load you down with other stuff tactics
  • Feeling of displacement tactics
  • Sabotage tactics
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

Lastly, (#9 if counting) – The leader who wants to bring about change within an association must have the ability to tell the difference between content and process.

  • Content- is the stuff people argue about. The small talk, the debris that floats to the top of the raging river.
  • Process- is the real reason people argue. The emotional reality. The raging river.
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Traits of a Church Revitalization Leader!

When we put our energy into dealing with the content of conflicts rather than its source, which is to say the emotional process behind it, we are wasting our time and demonstrating that we do not know what the real problem is.

Lessons to those leading Networks of Churches:

Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. If you can do these things right 70% of the time that is the best you can expect. Stop beating yourself up emotionally when things do not always work out perfectly.

determine the composition of the associations revitalization team16

Determine the Composition of the Associations Revitalization Team

By

Dr. Tom Cheyney

Tom@renovateconference.org

tcheyney@goba.org

Twitter & Facebook:RenovateConference

RenovateConference.org