3 Simple Steps to Revitalizing Your Local Adventist Church
I believe the local Adventist church has a story to tell. A story about God's heart and soul - who he is and what he is like - that no one else is telling. And it's our calling to revitalize the local Adventist church to tell that story effectively.
Imagine a world where every single local Adventist church was oozing relevance, authenticity and making a difference in its community? I want to invite you to make that world your dream and then step out and work to make it a reality.
That is what this website is all about. Every blog, podcast, book and course is designed to inspire and equip church members and leaders everywhere to optimize their local Adventist church for success. And we need to because if there is one painful reality that is apparent to us, its that the local Adventist church is failing.
So here are 3 simple steps to revitalizing your local Adventist church that you can do right now.
1. Discover why you exist.
Ever wonder why your church isn't headed anywhere? It may have a ton of activities, or just a few but the problem is the same - it has no real destination.
Most Adventist churches have no idea why they exist. If you split the leadership team up and ask each of them individually why their local church exists you will get a different answer from all of them. In fact, I have discovered that 90% of the problems the local church faces (youth leaving, infighting, division etc.) tend to be the result of a church without a clear "why". Without a clarity of why, your church will always wander around. It may add a bunch of new programs to its mix, get a cool new youth leader and pastor and move into a modern and spacious building but once the hype wears off you will find yourself exactly where you left off.
You need a clear answer to the question, "Why do we exist?" Without this as your foundation, nothing else you do will matter one bit.
2. Redefine your church's structure for mission.
Adventist church structure looks like this:
Elders, Deacons, Clerk, Treasurer, Ministry Leaders
The business meeting is the most powerful meeting at the church and every member has a voice.
The board is composed of leaders elected by the members to lead and is the second most powerful.
And the teams at the bottom are all elected to nurture, support and lead in specific areas of ministry.
At each level, the objective is to make the mission of the church (its "why") a reality. But when a church doesn't have a why all of the levels in the structure either turn inward or develop a diversity of why's with no harmony between ministries. Rather than mission, they become maintenance-focused. Rather than unified, they become independent ministries moving in independent directions within the larger church.
Your church's entire structure needs to be redefined for the "why" so that each level can 1) once again function for the accomplishment of the mission, not just for maintenance and 2) develop a mission plan that is unified and harmonious.
3. Adapt church communication for mission.
Many churches have a mission plan tucked away in a hard drive somewhere. Whats the point of that? There is zero value in developing a mission plan that never makes it out of the mission plan committee. If you want your plan to actually work, you have to realize that making the plan is the easy part. The tough part is implementing it. And step one toward implementing it is communicating it effectively.
Your website, social medial, marketing, cleanliness, professionalism and service needs to be geared toward communicating your mission. This involves lots of tweaking, experimenting and innovating. Your church documents like the bulletin, reports etc. also need to be adapted to communicate your new focus. In short, everything needs to be redefined as a tool to communicate your mission to your members and leaders consistently. One sermon wont do. One poster wont do. It has to become a regular thing. (For a website example, check out the new website we just developed at one of my churches, designed to communicate our "why" to guests and members: vicparksdachurch.com)
You might be thinking, dude you said this would be simple and this stuff isn't simple. Well, the truth is it really is simple. Maybe not easy, but simple - yes.