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?
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.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
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.