Church Replanting and Revitalization
In the United States, nearly 4,000 churches close their doors yearly. We believe many of these declining churches can become fruitful again with the proper resourcing. To that end, the Redeemer Network serves churches from various denominational and theological backgrounds needing to be replanted or revitalized, and we train pastors for this work. Some churches will eventually be invited to join the network. For the churches joining our network, we employ the same strategy of training, funding, and support.
It is a privilege and honor to play a role in strengthening the church inside and outside the Redeemer Network. We see replanting and revitalization, alongside church planting, as central to our mission and vision of establishing healthy churches and bringing glory to God.
What is the difference between replanting and revitalization?
Replanting is when an existing church decides to relaunch as a new church with new leadership, name, governance, mission, vision, and philosophy of ministry. Replanting builds on and celebrates the past while wholly committing itself to the future. In many cases, churches will utilize a transition team until new leadership is in place, offering a break from the past with a fresh start and momentum for the future.
Revitalization is a direct and deliberate effort to reverse the decline of an existing church rather than relaunch as a new one. This is less invasive, with fewer changes than a replant, and typically utilizes existing leadership. Revitalizations require a great deal of time and patience as the rate of change is much slower than in a replant, which makes it a fit for a church in decline or plateaued but is not a solution for a church facing imminent closure.
How does Redeemer serve churches needing to be replanted or revitalized?
Our process is highly relational, collaborative, and customized to the church's current situation. We divide the process into two phases.
Phase One | Discernment
The discernment phase begins with an informal call with the church’s point of contact. From there, we schedule an initial meeting with church leadership. The goal of this meeting is to get to know each other better, understand the situation clearly, and remind one another of the hope we have in Christ. Faithful discernment has prayer at its core and aims to assess where God is leading and our willingness to follow. This phase can last from a couple of months to a year, and when there appears to be a pathway to replanting or revitalization, the process moves from discernment to strategy.
Phase Two | Strategy
This phase is not the end of prayer and discernment; it’s simply a shift from “Should we pursue replanting or revitalization?” to, “How will we?”. For most churches, this replanting and revitalization process will include much of the following:
- Reorganization Planning
- Leadership Structure & Design
- Strategy, Vision, Mission & Values
- Gaining Missional & Doctrinal Clarity
- Identifying a New Pastor
- Branding and Communication Planning
- Planning For the Launch or New Phase of Growth
How does Redeemer train residents and pastors for replanting or revitalization?
The same character, convictions, and competencies that saturate our Church Planting Residency transfer to the work of replanting and revitalization. However, there is also specialized training someone needs for this work. Therefore, a resident would go through the Church-Planting Residency participating in a cohort but with supplemental training explicitly focused on replanting and revitalization.
If you pastor a church going through the process of replanting or revitalization, our training is built into the strategy phase of our process and the ongoing support we provide our pastors.
Are you interested in taking the next step with the Redeemer Network?
Are you a church seeking to be replanted or revitalized?
Are you someone interested in replanting or revitalizing an existing church?