How I Became a Turnaround Pastor
Updated: Feb 15, 2019
The seeds for church revitalization were planted in my heart as a teenager. I grew up in a small, traditional Baptist church. Even though the church was small, our Pastor was instrumental in encouraging many young men to go into ministry. He affectionately referred to these young men as his "preacher boys." Several grew up in our church. Others came to our church as youth pastors or Christian education directors from the Bible College where our Pastor also taught.
I was one of the "preacher boys" who grew up in the church. And I am sincerely grateful for our Pastor's encouragement as my wife and I matured and began our ministry. Right after we were married, we moved into a small cottage on the church property. I served as youth pastor, worship leader, and church custodian, while my wife served as church secretary. We both continued in Bible College on a grand salary of $300 per month.
But our church was still a traditional Baptist church. You could set your watch on Sunday mornings by what by the various elements of the worship service - the doxology, opening prayer, hymn, announcements, hymn, responsive reading, pastoral prayer, offering, special music, sermon, and invitation hymn. The only things that changed were the hymn numbers and the individuals providing special music. Other than that, every week was identical.
I remember sitting in church as a teenager and wondering why our church never grew. I would often imagine if we could change this or that, add something her or there, or mix up the order of service, perhaps it might spark some renewed interest. People might get a renewed excited about the church, invite their friends, and the church would start growing again.
Consequently, the seeds for church revitalization were planted as a teenager. God placed a burning desire in my heart to bring renewal to older traditional churches; to see them become healthy, thriving, growing churches again. Those early seeds took root and grew during my days in Bible College and Seminary. Since then,, I have served in four churches: the first as an Associate Pastor, and the last three as Senior Pastor. God has blessed each ministry with a measure of renewal and revitalization.
My prayer is that I might be of encouragement to you as you bring revitalization to your church. May God bless you and your ministry!
Adapted from the Preface to "Revitalize Your Church."