This year the Lord has led me to preach a series of messages from Isaiah 7-9, reviewing the names given to Jesus in remembrance of that Christmas morning long ago. Each name has a unique meaning and helps us to identify how special this child is. Immanuel declares “God is with us” referring to Jesus’ birth and life. Wonderful Counselor helps us to realize we need to come to Him for wisdom beyond human understanding. Mighty God speaks of His almighty power to meet our needs. Everlasting Father reveals Jesus as the head of the family of God and the Messiah. Prince of Peace reminds us that true peace only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord. It also teaches us that peace in our relationships with others is best realized through mutual relationship to Christ.
Have you ever faced a tragedy that tested your faith? Or, maybe you know someone who lost faith in the midst of a crisis? Similarly, churches have wavered in their faith because of pressure to compromise. The amazing thing is how often in history churches undergoing persecution have actually grown stronger.
In our last post we noted that 65% of churches are at a plateau, and 20% of churches are in stagnation and could be dying. The obvious conclusion is that we need revitalization in the majority of churches. Some churches may actually need to be replanted. The letters to the 7 Churches in Revelation give us reasons why churches need revitalization and give 7 Essentials in the Revitalization of Churches.
All living things have a life cycle. Churches are a living organism. The life cycle of a church depends on the church’s ability to reproduce itself. Only 15% are estimated to be healthy growing churches. Unfortunately, it is estimated that 65% of all churches in the USA are not growing. In addition, 20% of churches are actually in serious decline and facing death. I relate those churches as to being in the ICU and/or on life support.