As I reflected on my title, the Director of Church Revitalization and Coaching, the letters “v-i-t-a-l” in revitalization stood out to me. I looked up the definition of “vital” and found this: necessary to the existence, continuance or well-being of something; indispensable; essential. For example, the family is vital to a healthy society – the family is necessary and essential for the well-being of society.
Likewise, Church Revitalization is vital to a healthy Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Revitalized local congregations are necessary and essential for the continued well-being and even existence of a thriving Anglicanism in our times. Both statistics and general observation show that many of our churches are smaller, aging and without many, if any, young people. No one wants to see a congregation so hard fought for to cease to exist. It’s necessary and essential that they are revitalized! But many don’t know what to do or how to grow.
However, there’s hope. Revitalization is possible! We serve a God where all things are possible! If He can create the entire universe from nothing and can raise Jesus from the dead, surely He can bring new life to Anglican congregations! And it is vital to the ACNA that He does!
Again, struck by the letters “v-i-t-a-l” I found that another definition of “vital” is: necessary to life – as in our vital organs. Just as our vital organs must all be working properly in order for our physical bodies to be healthy and growing, there are certain vital systems in our local church body that are necessary for it to be a healthy, growing church. Although we can way overcomplicate things at times, I think these vitals for church health can be summed up in the following five areas:
Vision for Evangelism
Transformation to Christlikeness
Life of Service
Each of these five areas working properly and together are vital – necessary – in every local church for it to be revitalized. Therefore, a new resource the AAC will offer is a Church Revitalization article in the weekly email update. I will either write or link to an article that addresses one of these five vital areas. My hope is that these articles will inspire, challenge, give ideas, and help you help your church grow and thrive.
I am excited to be serving the ACNA in this vital area with the American Anglican Council. I look forward to partnering with you for years to come to see Great Commission Anglican Churches built up and defended. Please contact the AAC and me for more information on Church Revitalization and how we can help.
The Rev. Canon Mark Eldredge is Director of Church Revitalization and Coaching for the American Anglican Council.