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Church Revitalisation Network

2021 Church Revitalisation Network

For the last few decades, there has been a growing realisation that existing churches, even those that were recently planted, are not faring well. Many church leaders currently lack the training necessary to build sustained growth, health, and spiritual vitality.

The Church Revitalisation Network seeks to respond to the decline of existing churches by training church leaders in the spiritual leadership and skills they need to revitalise their churches for long-term sustainability. Its vision is to equip spiritually mature and intellectually well-grounded evangelical church leaders to:

  • Improve the spiritual health of the church through worship, building trust in God as obedient disciples
  • Improve relationships within the church and with unbelievers through face-to-face relationships and better integration of new members
  • Improve the quality of leadership within the church through team building
  • Improve the effectiveness of the church by identifying the mission, vision, and strategic plan
  • Improve the contextualisation of the church through historical, geographical and cultural study of the church’s community

Participants in the Church Revitalisation Network will receive specialised training at the Annual Meeting and throughout the year, as well as helpful resources and opportunities to be mentored.

 

NETWORK LEADER

David Brown has been involved in church planting in France since 1976 and has planted three churches (two in Nancy and one in the Paris suburbs). At present he is “replanting” a church in central Paris (Église Protestante Évangélique de Paris-Cardinet). For many years he was involved with GBU (Groupes Bibliques Universitaires), the French student movement affiliated with IFES, first as General Secretary, and then as chair of the board. He also chairs the Evangelism Commission of the French “National Council of Evangelicals” and teaches church planting and revitalization at the Geneva Bible Institute. He is married to Mary, and they have four adult children and a growing number of grandchildren.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Neil Hudson is the Senior Leader of Salford Elim Church and a Senior Associate of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.  He is passionate about equipping churches to become communities of people whose whole lives are transformed by the love of Jesus, who in turn transform the world through faith acted out in everyday life. His books, Imagine Church (IVP 2012) and Scattered and Gathered (IVP 2019), set out that vision and offer some practical steps to make it happen. Neil is married to Maggie and has adult children and two grandchildren. 

 

Jay Mosser has served in pastoral roles for nearly 40 years – about 20 years in various assistant pastor capacities and the rest as senior pastor. Through those years he has served in three churches ranging from smaller (less than 50) to larger (about 1,000). Along the way he has worked with children, teens, worship ministry, pastoral care, preaching and leadership. Jay has an M.Div from Western (Conservative Baptist) Seminary and a D.Min from Corban University in Oregon, where his doctoral thesis was titled “How a Pastor’s Theology of Shepherding Affects the Health & Growth of a Church.” He is married to Kathy and has three daughters and three grandchildren. In his spare time, he loves to read, hike, travel, watch sports, and spend time with his family.

 

Scott Poling serves as senior pastor of Harvest New Beginnings Church located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He has served in ministry for 25 years at Harvest, seeing first-hand God’s work in the renewal of a dying church.  He’s gained a unique perspective, understanding the pressures and trials of ministry while navigating the many changes that come with church revitalisation. He’s looking forward to sharing many of the insights he’s learned through the years.  He received his B.S. degree from Cedarville University and his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, has 5 children with his wife of 30 years, Carla, and his interests include trail running, ultra marathons, and visiting national parks.

 

John Stevens is the National Director of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, a family of over 500 Bible-centred churches in the UK, a position that he has held since 2010. Prior to this he was one of the founding pastors of City Evangelical Church Birmingham, which was planted in the centre of the UK’s 2nd largest city in 1999. He was instrumental in starting the Midlands Gospel Partnership, was the course Director of the Midlands Ministry Training Course and is a visiting lecturer at Oak Hill Theological College. John is also one of the pastors of Christchurch Market Harborough, a church he helped to plant when he took up his current role.  He was converted whilst studying law at Cambridge University, and after taking a post-graduate degree at the University of Oxford worked for 16 years as a University Lecturer, ending his career as Deputy Head of the Law School at the University of Birmingham. John is married to Ursula and they have four children aged between 12 and 7. He blogs at www.john-stevens.com on theology, church life and ministry, culture and politics.

 

Florent Varak is the director of the Church Equipping Network at Encompass World Partners. As such, he leads a team of equippers and frequently teaches in French-speaking Africa. For 25 years he served as a pastor of a Charis Fellowship Church in Lyon, France. He teaches at the Geneva Bible Institute and has written a few articles and books, including Le Manuel du Prédicateur, L’Evangile et le Citoyen [The Gospel and the Citizen], Le mariage de Jésus, and others. He delivers a weekly podcast at www.toutpoursagloire.com called “1 pasteur vous répond”. He holds an M.Div from Master’s Seminary (California) and a “Master de Recherche” from the Faculté Libre de Théologie Evangélique (France). He and his wife, Lori, have three adult children and four grand-children.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

An Overview of Church Revitalisation: A Vision and a Process

David Brown

Why is church revitalization necessary? Why is it difficult? What are the barriers to revitalization? This overview shows the need for a locally built vision followed by an intentional process to develop the church into a place where Christians learn to love God and to love others in their cultural context.

  

Paul's Rules for Creative Outreach in a Contemporary Culture

Scott Poling

Can my church be revitalized? Yes! But not without learning four important laws the apostle Paul teaches on how to do effective ministry in our contemporary culture. Let's learn how to think outside the box but inside the Bible; being creative, but always Biblical.


Day 2

Creating a DNA of Connections in Your Church

Jay Mosser

Every organisation has DNA or core values, sometimes carefully chosen and sometimes imprinted on us by the culture around us. An important part of revitalising a church is connecting with people, and every culture around the world has unwritten rules about how people interact with other members of the community. In this session we will work to identify the "rules" on connecting with people in your country, and we will consider some practical ways to harness those cultural values for the gospel.

 

Leading Gathered Church for Scattered Mission

Neil Hudson

The world needs whole-life disciples of Jesus. As disciples, we are envisioned, shaped, and affirmed in the callings that God has for us in our gathered church lives. But too often the church can seem like an organisation that takes our time, energy, and focus, but doesn’t equip us well for these lives. How can we be leaders of churches that set people free for the mission that God calls them into?


Day 3

Relevancy, Faithfulness, and the Role of Emotions in Preaching

Florent Varak

How can we avoid just feeding the mind in expository preaching? Aiming for the whole person definitely involves a proper formulation of the truth, but the preacher could connect with his audience better by observing and using the emotions often imbedded in God’s Word. We will look at the benefits of such an approach as well as clues on how to do it.

 

Targeted Worship Services

David Brown

21st century Europe is very diverse. In no area of life does one size fit all. Cinemas are multi-screen, there are dozens of television channels, and there is a wide range of eating-places to choose from. However, churches often only offer one type of worship experience. What other types would be possible in our context? How does this contribute to revitalisation? And how do we ensure unity in a church when the church members don’t regularly meet all together on a Sunday?


Day 4

Session to Be Announced

John Stevens

 

Case Studies

Speakers to Be Announced

Different case studies will be offered in order to bring together what we have learnt in the week. Participants come from various parts of Europe, each sub region having its own background, and from various ecclesiastical traditions (historic denominations, older free churches, more recent church plants looking for a new impetus). We obviously cannot cater for every permutation, but we shall attempt to provide meaningful case studies for each participant.

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