Reviving old and planting new churches

Which is the greater miracle, giving birth or raising the dead? I am not feeling too qualified on either one of these topics, but that won’t stop me from drawing a comparison here.  I have neither given birth nor raised the dead.  Both in their own right are incredible miracles that God is involved in.  A new birth brings new life, joy, excitement and a lot of work to follow.  Of these two miracles, birth happens much more often.  I have never seen the dead raised, or met anyone that truly has.
Take these two miracles and compare them to the work of reviving old churches and planting new ones.  Some have used the miracle of raising the dead to the work of revitalizing an older church, while using the miracle of birth to describe the launching of a new work.  Both are exciting, bring joy, are hard work, and need our attention.  If we are to fulfill the greatest thing that Jesus wanted us each to be a part of we must be successful in reviving failing churches and giving birth to new churches.

So what are the challenges and rewards of doing one or the other?  Can or should both be done?  What is my church doing to help in the starting of new churches and the restoring of dying or dead ones?  Am I willing to give sacrificially of my time or resources to see that new areas are reached and old areas are given new life?  Answering these questions go a long way in God using us to continue the miracle of birthing new works and reviving old ones!

4 Responses to “Reviving old and planting new churches”

  1. MarilynBr May 20, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I don’t think that it’s an either/or when we consider starting new churches or reviving old ones. Both of these things need to be done. It will depend upon the vision of the individual person whether they will find their calling with the new churches or the struggling ones that need reviving.

    My heart is with the struggling ones that need reviving. In fact, even though I am a layperson, my life work is with the renewal of declining and struggling churches. I’ve been at this for 32 years, long before most people were even thinking about church revitalization.

    The Bible says that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church. That does not mean that we are sitting around in fear and sort of trusting the door to hold and keep Satan out. No, it means when we in the church go against the strongholds of Satan, nothing can keep us from battering down the gates of Hell.

    We in the church are the ones on the offensive. At least we should be. I think if the leaders and members of struggling churches would grasp this image, they would not be so afraid to take the risks that can help breathe new life into their congregations again.

  2. Ben Woodard May 28, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    MarilynBR you show a real passion for what your doing. Some really good thoughts here.
    You said “they would not be so afraid to take the risks”, what kind of risks are you speaking about?

  3. Ryan Flanders June 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    I agree. It probably is not an either or scenario. Both need to be done by churches and God does give unique callings to different ministers. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Jill Campbell January 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    I am so excited for your live sermons! I will be at church from Vegas! No pressure…lol!
    Aunt Jill

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