Herein lies the essential lesson for all pastors laboring in the work of revitalization. Jesus is with you! He is your shield in that deacons’ meeting. He is there when you are publically rebuked. He is compassionate when your mistake or failure in a decision harms the church. He is sad when his sheep attack you because they do not understand and are afraid. He is your defender when wolves in the church try to harm the sheep. The Chief Shepherd will never abandon his shepherds!
Who do we think that we are? Who does the community think we are? Who are we really? These questions must be answered in the work of Church Revitalization. Before a church understands the need for Church Revitalization they need to know who they are. Here William D. Henard shares practical tips to find your church’s identity.
The words peace, grace, faith, and love permeate this book and are all purposely planted in the Ephesian benediction to remind his readers of the beauty and power of the gospel. In this, Paul keeps the proclamation of the gospel primary. Faithful pastors must do the same in every facet of their ministries, whether preaching and teaching, casting vision, or providing pastoral care and counsel, the gospel must be the primary language the pastor speaks to those whom he shepherds.
Humility, not humiliation, is essential. Growing downward was a practice in preaching the gospel to himself that many in ministry, especially those in a revitalization setting, should strive for. It was the seed that blossomed patience. But not merely patience in isolation, it also led to perseverance in his ministry, something all pastors, but especially those revitalization must possess.
As a church leader, revitalizer, or church-planter the desire to be faithful at shepherding Christ’s flock must include that no group ever feels overlooked or rejected because they’re different. Unfortunately, too many pastors have not yet seen the need to be intentional at reaching out to the oft-slighted disabled people among them as part of their church growth strategy.