Revitalization of a Dead Church

Cornerstone Church,

Revitalization of a Dead Church
Before starting Cornerstone, Amy and I visited a church in Daytona where we considered the ministry of revitalization. It was an older church with a great history. Over time however, it had fallen into difficult times and disrepair. Ultimately, we felt called to Four Corners to launch Cornerstone and are so blessed that we were led to this amazing place.
There is a trend in the west where churches are aging and doors are closing. Less churches is the opposite of the Great Commission, and the worst thing for any community. This leads to the question; How can we keep a church from dying? Or better yet; How can we revitalize an already dead one? Happily for us, the Bible gives us the answer.
Revelation 3:1-6 (NKJV) 1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '
1.      Rouse - vs. 2 (Be Watchful)
We all need wake up calls. Alarms that rouse us from our slumber. Churches need them too! Like the Apostle Peter hearing the cock crow for the third time, we need something that will shake us up. God sometimes allows difficulties for this very purpose.
2.      Reinvigorate what Remains - vs. 2
A pastor friend recently told me that he had seen a large drop in attendance. He was blessed that most of the disgruntled people had gone and now they were unified and ready for a new chapter.  Sometimes amputation is the healthiest alternative. Reinvigorate what remains!
3.      Remember How - vs. 3
It does not say “Remember what you have received and heard.”  Many of us recall the “what” of the Bible. God calls us to remember the “How!”  This speaks to the manner in which we received it. Our heart attitude, our intentionality. The word “How” In a practical sense may just be that you read His Word, heard it preached, taught. But in an emotional sense, maybe it is how you desired the sincere milk of the word(1 Peter 2:22), how you received His Word with all eagerness (Bereans in Acts 17:11)
4.      Reinforce – vs. 3 – Hold Fast!
Hang on!  - This is battle language. When we decided that we are going to return a dead church back to life, it is going to be a bumpy ride. Repentance requires U-turns and G-forces can toss us to-and-fro.

- Pastor Joel Johns