The Church, Missions & Technology

How Returning Missionaries Can Help With Church Revitalization: Establishing Priorities

Missionaries returning from the mission field understand the importance of setting priorities in order to make the most of their time. Most missionaries understand that they have a limited time in a country overseas so they strive to make the most of everyday. They can assist pastors and churches who struggle with this aspect and are going through revitalization by helping them set priorities and goals.


Dying churches need to have a set of priorities or goals that will help guide them to be healthy reproducing churches. As missionaries we had to choose if we were going to focus on evangelism, working with existing churches, or translate scripture. We had to start with the most important at the time and move forward from there. As the saying goes, “You Cant Do Everything”. It’s true, churches that undergo revitalization are longer able to do all that they did in the past. They now need to focus on the future and the legacy they can leave behind to the next generation of followers of Jesus. Missionaries fresh off the field are able to quickly assess where a dying church is, look at the opportunities the church has, and then help the church put together a plan of goals or priorities in order to move towards being a healthy reproducing church.

I recognize that it is tremendously hard for historic churches to stop doing choir, or Wednesday night worship services. However, if one of our goals as a revitalizing church is to attract and invite members of the community to our worship services then we might need to change the style of music to something they are more familiar with such as a live band. I recognize that your cultural context might look different.

If one of our goals is to spend less money out of the budget, then not having prayer meeting in the church building on Wednesday night might be an option. Especially if there are only 12 people attending. Twelve people can easily fit into someone's home for a night of fellowship and prayer. We have to make the most important thing, the most important thing. The hard part is removing the items that are not the most important. This is when the members of the church need to come together in seasons of prayer and fasting in order to rally together to make the most important thing their number one priority.
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