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Comeback Churches

03.08.20 | by Keith Russell

Comeback Churches

    I SPOKE TO OUR PASTORAL/MINISTERIAL STAFF last week about a book I read several years ago called, Comeback Churches. The book was written in 2007 by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson. It is the story of 300 churches that made a comeback from being a declining church. I was interested in the book because I have seen our church decline in attendance and I have seen church attendance decline across America. Here are some takeaways from the book that I shared with our staff.

    COMEBACK CHURCHES HAVE A CLEAR VISION. Our vision is printed on the front of the bulletin every Sunday morning: Connecting all generations to Jesus one person at a time for worship, community, and service. We want to lead people to faith in Jesus. We want people to worship our Savior. We want people to make connections with other believers. We want people to find a place of service.

    COMEBACK CHURCHES HAVE STRONG LEADERS. I am committed to leading the way in fulfilling our vision. I am all-in. I have challenged our staff to be all-in. The old adage is, “everything rises and falls upon leadership.” I have a passion to lead people to Jesus. I have a passion to preach God’s Word. I have a passion to equip God’s people to do God’s work. However, strong leadership is not just the responsibility of the staff! A comeback church must have strong leadership among the laity.

    COMEBACK CHURCHES WERE PLACES OF PRAYER. The church is a supernatural organism that needs supernatural power. We will either go forward on our knees or we will go backward from not being on our knees. Jesus said that His house would be called a house of prayer. The early church was a praying church. Prayer invites God to move in His church.

    COMEBACK CHURCHES MAJORED ON EVANGELISM. The book says, “Comeback churches think and live evangelism.” Jesus called His disciples to be fishers of men. Jesus commissioned His church to take the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. Everyone who is reading this knows someone who is not a believer in Christ. We know friends, relatives, work associates, and neighbors who have never been saved. Reaching them for Jesus must be our priority.

    COMEBACKS ARE EXCITING! It is my prayer that God will use me and you to help Westside be a Comeback Church.