By Ps Dev Menon
In the corporate world, when a business is not doing well, we often let it fold or intentionally close it down. However I’m not sure the same logic applies when it comes to churches. Let me share with you some reasons.
The Pastoral Reason: Throughout the New Testament, I see the repeated refrain to ‘strengthen the churches’ or ‘strengthen the disciples’. Churches are about people, and when a group of believers is not doing well – for whatever reason – the command is to go in and encourage them. When churches or even cell groups are shut down, the believers are often disillusioned and sometimes their faith or at least their zeal never recovers, it can be quite traumatic. Instead, I believe God commands us to come alongside and build up what is now broken, because Jesus dearly loves all His sheep.
The Judgment Reason: In the book of Revelation, we can see that even for a compromised church like Sardis, the command is: …strengthen what remains and is about to die (Rev 3:2). When Jesus threatens to shut down a church, it is not because of a lack of effectiveness, but rather because it either has become morally bankrupt or it has become so utterly complacent. Even then it is only after many warnings and much patience (much like the people of Israel). When a church shuts down it is not a strategic business move, but rather one of divine judgment. It is very serious.
The Missional Reason: Most churches have been planted in a response to the great commission, with in the hope of establishing a place of witness for God’s name in new community or amongst a new demographic. When these churches falter, so do their ministries and their good works – and this can have a negative impact. What is needed is a new generation of missional believers to go in, armed with the gospel, to re-start or re-vamp those ministries so that the light of Christ can continue to shine in that area or to that community. Yet who is willing to #getsent?
If you or your AG would like to know more about or assist with our Church Revitalization initiatives, please contact Ps Dev at firstname.lastname@example.org