8 Traits of Revitalized Churches 

Couple reading bible together on church pew

Over the last few years, we rejoice over several Alabama Baptist churches experiencing revitalization. Revitalization is a process where a church becomes healthier over time. Naturally, each church is unique; some are small, some are large, some are rural, some are urban, and so forth. Nonetheless, we have observed eight common traits among churches that are experiencing revitalization:

1. The pastor works with a team. 

The pastor collaborates with a dedicated team. This revitalization team convenes regularly with the pastor, sharing the burden and playing a crucial role in guiding the church through the revitalization journey.

2. The revitalization team makes prayer for revitalization a priority. 

The revitalization team prioritizes prayer for the revitalization process, recognizing that true revitalization is a work of the Holy Spirit.

3. The congregation follows the lead of the pastor and team to look “beyond the four walls” of the church into the community. 

In other words, these churches are outward-focused. Declining churches are inherently inwardly focused. 

4. The church evaluates its strengths and weaknesses

Examining aspects such as prayer, evangelism, discipleship, ministry, fellowship, and worship. Subsequently, a strategic plan is devised to address areas needing improvement, with a deliberate focus on one aspect at a time.

5. The pastor wants to grow personally. 

The pastor actively seeks personal growth opportunities, engaging external resources for evaluation and challenge. Every church we collaborate with seeks outside perspectives to gain fresh insights, recognizing that collective wisdom surpasses individual understanding.

6. A sense of urgency is communicated

A sense of urgency permeates the congregation, as echoed in the refrain often heard across Alabama: “If we don’t change, we will perish.”

7. The leadership prepares for spiritual attacks.

Face it, when God revitalizes a church the evil one is unhappy. There will be difficult times. Be prepared for seasons of criticism. 

8. The church realizes some members might leave.

In each of the revitalization efforts in Alabama, the church has seen people leave. A professor at Southern Seminary once said, “Few leaders like to see members leave, but some churches have a ‘back door revival’ before true revitalization can take place.” 

Please let us know if you have any questions. We would love to help you in the revitalization process.

This article was written by state missionary Rob Jackson.