How It All Started

Over the last year our congregation at Alameda has undertaken a strategic revitalization of our church’s mission to our community.  After several years of plateau, we were in need of revitalization; and this was weighing heavily on me.  We were an active church with a big heart for people, known by our community as a church that loves its community, but nothing was moving the needle in terms of bringing new people into the body of Christ.

When I gave my annual report to the elders at the end of last year regarding the status of our ministry staff, I said, “There’s one more thing that I’d like to share.”

The elders encouraged me to share what was on my mind, and I said, “We’re a good church doing good things for the Kingdom of God, but we’re not a growing church.  And we’re not growing because we aren’t pursuing growth.  We’re serving people but we’re not sharing the gospel message with people.  We’re not leading people to Christ the way we are called by Christ to do.”

It was hard to admit.

It was even harder to admit it to our spiritual shepherds.

I didn’t know what they would say, how they would respond.

But it had to be said.

After a brief pause, one of our elders spoke up…

“You’re right.  And we need to change that.”

That one moment of vulnerability set in motion an incredible journey.  And as we’ve become more focused on pursuing the Great Commission and more intent on training our members on how to be disciple-makers for Jesus, God has blessed us with…

Increased attendance in our Sunday morning worship assembly.

Increased attendance in our Sunday morning Bible classes.

Increased giving.

Increased awareness of the Spirit in our midst.

Increased spiritual vitality within our church family.

And it all started with a moment of humility and honesty.

But that’s how all revitalizations start.

By being honest about where you are.

So often, what keeps us from experiencing revitalization in certain areas of our lives is our unwillingness to be honest about the state of our being.

It’s hard to admit that we’ve failed.

It’s hard to admit that we’ve lost sight of our goal.

It’s hard to admit that we’ve drifted so far off course of where we know we should be.

But without that admission, we can’t experience the revitalization we desperately want.

Without the ability of our elders to boldly admit the reality of our situation, Alameda wouldn’t be experiencing our current exciting season of renewal.

And whatever kind of renewal you are wishing for in your life is also possible…

If you can be honest with yourself.

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