Church Revitalization

The Problem

There are 168 hours in a week. For kids, media gets 28+. Education gets 30+. The church gets 1-2. Combine that with parents and grandparents doing little and we get Judges 2:10.

 

  • No family worship, intentional plan, or training by church. “A majority of parents do not spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children ... parents typically have no plan for the spiritual development of their children; do not consider it a priority, have little or no training in how to nurture a child’s faith.” [1]

 

  • Infrequent church attendance. “The average child attends an evangelical megachurch less than two times per month.” [2]

 

  • Strong media and educational influence. The average young person logs 4-9 hours of TV, video, and internet per day and 16,000 educational hours between K-12. “Children will be in school 60 times as much as in church.” [3]

 

Many families rely on this pattern for the spiritual training of their children and the results are not good.

The Church Revitalization Program was created in response to five major needs:

Poor evangelism & discipleship results

Many churches invest a significant amount of resources to reach and disciple the next generation, yet unprecedented numbers of young people are walking away from Christ and the church. We help family ministries reach young people with the gospel, retain them in the life of the church, and raise them in the Lord so that they have a deep, lasting, culture-transforming faith.

Underdeveloped
0-18 theology & ministry philosophy

Many churches base their 0-18 ministry approach on the latest trend or the large church down the road rather than the Bible. Children and youth ministry methodology has largely remained stagnant for decades while families have grown dysfunctional and culture has changed significantly. We help churches build their ministry on a strong biblical foundation and methods.

Lack of family discipleship

Most churches have a strong desire to support the home but struggle to implement any regular, systematic training. Parents often outsource the faith training of their children to paid church professionals and substitute church programming for family discipleship. We help churches equip parents and grandparents.

No ministry measurements or intentional plan

A majority of family ministry leaders do not have a ministry measurement system in place and typically have no long term plan for the spiritual development of young people. We help churches measure ministry results and develop a strategic plan.

Limited education or experience

Many children’s and youth leaders have limited education or experience and would benefit from cont-inued professional development. Some family ministry leaders have little or no theological training and have not been taught how to nurture a young person’s faith. We provide coaching to help church leaders faithfully steward the important role God has given them.

Why Churches Contact Renewanation

There are reactive and proactive reasons why church leaders seek help from Renewanation. Typically, a senior pastor or church leader contacts Renewanation with questions about a specific issue within the 0-18 ministry of a church. Chief among the problems are reactive reasons to partner with Renewanation:

 

  • Attendance has plateaued or declined. Student attendance is declining and families are leaving.

  • There is conflict between pastoral leadership and members of the congregation. Often times there is growing dissatisfaction with ministry approach or ministry results.

  • A lack of vision and ministry direction.

 

Revitalization requests based on a desire to proactively address the church’s 0-18 ministry health and growth fall into five primary areas:

  • The church does not have a plan for their children’s, youth, or family ministry and wants to develop a plan.

  • The church desires to start a major effort in children’s, youth, or family ministry.

  • The 0-18 ministries are doing okay, but the church is unsure of its strengths and weaknesses and the next phase of ministry.

  • A church leader wants to save time by assessing and addressing issues more quickly than he could with his own staff.

  • There is a change in ministry leadership, which provides an opportunity to assess the current state of ministry and create a new plan.

Renewanation Distinctives

Renewanation’s Church Revitalization Program is based on a biblical foundation built around the institutions that God created for the evangelism and discipleship of young people with biblical worldview at the center.

Biblical Foundation:
God created two great commission institutions for the evangelism and discipleship of children with a third institution that operates by delegated authority. Renewanation will help you develop Bible-based, Christ-centered vibrant ministries around these areas:

 

  • The family: “so that they should set their hope in God [evangelism] and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments [discipleship]; and they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation” (Ps 78:7-8).

  • The church: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19-20).

  • The school: “A student [disciple] is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

 

Biblical Worldview:
A set of beliefs, assumptions, or values based on the Bible that determines how a person lives. We help churches integrate a Bible-based set of core truths into its curriculum, classrooms, volunteer training, and homes.​

Our Church Revitalization Program has three phases:

Phase 1:
Assessment

Consists of a two-day visit where we will begin an in-depth analysis of existing conditions and provide suggestions to increase health and impact of the 0-18 ministry. We examine philosophy, personnel, and programs through observation and interviews. We meet with key individuals in the organization, ask questions, listen, look for patterns, and make recommendations. 

Phase 2:
Strategic Planning

Involves a separate one-day visit where we facilitate the development of a new strategic plan with a small number of church leaders. We arrive at a shared philosophy, dream about future outcomes, and identify key priorities.

Phase 3:
Implementation

Ongoing support and coaching for a period of 6 to 9 months to help a church implement its strategic plan. Consists of monthly phone or video calls to track progress. 

What criteria does Renewanation use to evaluate a church?

The ten checkpoints below are examples of the types of subjects we analyze. 

Leadership

Is leadership in alignment around the mission and methodology of the 0-18 ministry? Do senior leadership, elder board, and ministry staff share the same theology, philosophy, and goals for the 0-18 ministry?

Curriculum

Is the curriculum Bible-based and Christ-centered? Are core truths taught and cultural messages addressed? Is there a comprehensive, systematic scope and sequence?

Volunteers

Are volunteers adequately trained to communicate the gospel, lovingly shepherd young people, and teach the Bible?

Parents

Are parents equipped to lead family worship, lovingly correct children, and raise them in the Lord? Is discipleship happening in homes?

Grandparents

Are grandparents equipped to pass faith on to future generations? Are grandparents engaged spiritually with their family?

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Programs

Are midweek and weekend programs for children and youth effectively accomplishing their purpose? Is there a healthy balance between evangelism and discipleship?

Children

Are children worshiping with the congregation? Is the church family-friendly? Is there an assimilation process for children and families? Are there proper safety policies and plans in place?

Students

Are students developing spiritual habits and learning to serve others? Are students connecting socially with other students? What is the attendance and retention rate?

Education

Is the impact of education on the spiritual life of children understood? Are the cultural influences recognized and defended against?

Biblical Worldview

Are young people developing a biblical worldview? What measurements or metrics are used to determine spiritual growth?

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Contact Us

If you would like to continue to explore working with Renewanation, the next step is a phone or video call. If interested, please contact Dr. Josh Mulvihill at jmulvihill@renewanation.org or fill out the form below.

FOOTNOTES
[1] George, Barna, “Parents Accept Responsibility for their Child’s Spiritual Development but Struggle with Effectiveness,” accessed October 11, 2016,  https://www.barna.com/research/parents-accept-responsibility-for-their-childs-spiritual-development-but-struggle-with-effectiveness/.

[2] Larry Fowler, The Question Nobody Asks About our Children (Steamwood, IL: Awana, 2014), 11.

[3] Ibid., 18.