5 Ways to revive a DEAD church
Wondering how to wake up a church that feels lifeless? That's a question many church leaders ask. But remember, when we talk about a "dead" church, we're talking about the people, not the building. Here are five straightforward steps to bring energy and spirit back to your church community:
1. Start Small
The task of resurrecting an ailing or dead church is enormous. This problem cannot be solved by trying to plan big programs, charismatic revivals, and other non-personal activities. More often than not, using events to jumpstart the church is the wrong approach. The little things you can do to impact small groups of willing individuals will make the most significant changes. We tend to opt for one-off events because it requires no more effort after the execution, and it is a visible attempt in the eyes of others to say that you attempted something.
Instead, focus on smaller and more intimate process-based activities.
Activities that may not have a deadline, such as having weekly phone calls to members, taking the teens out to the park or beach every month, and setting up a parenting class for single parents in the church and community.
These activities may not come with the fanfare of an event, but the positive output can be immeasurable.
2. Form Friendships
We often neglect to admit that the social aspect of the church forms a substantial part of why people remain in the faith. Jesus was a socialite; he had 12 close friends, he would eat out at people's homes, he would even invite himself to the home of strangers for lunch as he did with Zaccheus.
It is not that Jesus was necessarily an extrovert since he would often be found by himself on a mountainside. He had a passion for people; he was in touch with the feelings of their infirmities. He could relate to both their joys and their sorrows. That's what friends are for.
Seeking to form genuine friendships with the members of your church community is a significant aspect of a genuine revival.
3. Be Social
It is one thing to say you are a friend, but true friendship is built through experiences. It is often said that it is hard to make friends after you leave school. This is because, at school, you get to spend hours getting to know someone, participating in various activities, and building your friendship investment. Participating with people frequently in social interaction builds friendship and companionship. It is when you have gained someone's deepest trust that you can have meaningful conversations and get them to join you in whatever venture you may pursue.
4. Genuinely Serve others
Sometimes a church dies because it has become stagnant. Like the dead sea that cannot support life, it is only preoccupied with getting instead of giving. A living and thriving church has developed a culture of giving. Members create a culture of giving their time and resources to helping others. A church that is working is a church that is living. Changing to that culture may take months or years, but as the saying goes, we overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year. It can start with only a few faithful and willing members. Find a small project and consistently give your best over a long period. Soon, you can share your wins and invite others to join your cause.
5. Gather ideas
As leaders, we must listen to our members. Keep your ear on the ground to determine the needs of the church. Actively seek out ideas and strategies and implement these ideas. When members see their ideas become a reality through the church, they feel like they are part of a purpose-driven church and are more likely to join the efforts to meet the vision.
In short, making a church lively again is about creating a solid community. This community should be based on real friendships, regular get-togethers, real help, and active involvement. Small, steady steps can lead to significant changes.