In Europe, there are Gothic Cathedrals that draw visitors from all over the world. There’s one in Spain that took 400 years to build. (You thought your building campaign was long!) But, if you walk into that building today, it’s a museum. Additionally, the U.S. is filled with grandiose churches that seat 500, but only average 12 attendees on a Sunday. Churches that were once vital, powerful places that would make a difference in the community are closing. They were the hub of the immigrants, the places where the gospel was preached, where people were married, buried and baptized. Now they’re demolished or repurposed into condos. As a pastor in Chicago, I started to wonder, should we just abandon these buildings? Something struck my heart as I began to read scripture: What if these stained-glass window cathedrals were filled with young people attending these older churches? What if we were able to take what people sacrificed to build for the Gospel and now redeem these buildings for God?
I believe that God has called the Church to bring Kingdom culture to its communities; to be a Church in and for the community.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Are you ready to launch your next church? What are the questions you should be asking as you consider this venture? When I was 22, I was completely overwhelmed with pastoring a small church in a tough neighborhood. It looked bleak. My salary was $8,000 a year with no insurance. The church had 18 people and no worship band. I was living in my one-room office with a mattress on the floor and mouse traps all around. I thought, "Wow, we're supposed to be this dynamic ‘change the world’ church and we're just this small, feeble group...the toothless, the broken, the homeless and those with prison sentences."
In part 1 of this series, we examined six keys for a successful church restart. According to Mark Jobe, lead/founding pastor or New Life Community Church in Chicago, a restart can be a story of redemption rather than as a “take-over.” In part 2, Jobe uses the acronym GRACE to describe how to discern whether the restart process is right for your church and God-honoring ways to embark on a restart journey.
New Life Community Church is a multicultural, multisite church that gathers in 25 locations, each with live preaching. When we first started launching new sites, I didn't know hardly anyone else that was doing it. Today, there are many churches taking this approach, and it's a great strategy. Of our 25 New Life sites, about 14 of them were born out of a “restart.” This is the term we use when an older church has invited us to move into their existing building that was on the verge of closing and restart the church under the New Life banner. Though we didn’t set out with a plan to engage in restarts, they’ve become an important part of New Life’s multiplication strategy.
Mark Jobe is the lead and founding pastor of New Life Community Church in Chicago. He and his wife Dee have seen New Life grow from a handful of people to several thousand meeting at more than 20 locations with over 40 worship services each weekend. Mark is also the founder of New Life Centers, an organization focused on helping youth in underserved areas of Chicago. On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Mark will share his church's journey with "Restarts," New Life's method of merging with historic urban churches in order to preserve and restore faith communities. Don't miss your chance to hear his inspiring vision for redeeming sacred space!
Pastors: are you throwing your hands in the air, ready to quit? Not sure where to go next in your ministry or what God is calling you to? Experiencing burnout or exhaustion? Whether you're a seasoned pastor or you're diving into your very first church plant, chances are slim that everything in your ministry has gone off without a hitch. Maybe you're at a point in your life where you simply feel... stuck.