Four Characteristics of Positive Church Members in Church Revitalization

Church members who try to sabotage efforts in a church revitalization are a threat to the Great Commission and are anti-Christ in nature. These members can use their influence to thwart positive change which can slow down the revitalization process. In a church revitalization, you will have people who do not want the church to find renewal. However, you can build a culture of positive change with those church members who are ready to dig in and move the church forward.  These positive church members can become your wall of defense against any attempts at sabotaging the church’s mission and vision as you revitalize and renew your church.  

The character traits of a positive church member dictate a strong cultural fortitude for the entire church. I have had to deal with some negative church members in revitalization. But I have also had the pleasure of leading some incredible people that are still with me and are involved in helping to build a great church. Unfortunately, it’s the sabotaging church members that keep us up at night. They can cause us to lose focus and lead us to believe that the minority voice is the majority voice.

Your job as a church revitalizer is to protect the culture, vision, mission, and values of the church you are leading. These are what give you the ability to do what God has called you to. The sabotaging church member is not for you but against you. Chances are they do not respect you as the pastor or head of Christ’s church. It is very difficult to lead someone that does not respect you. All you can do is try to train your church members and attenders to be positive contributors to the process of revitalization.
Here are four key characteristics of positive church members and attenders in a rebuilding and revitalization.

1. Positive church members understand the mission of the church.
Most church members in America do not understand why they attend their church and what their part is in moving the mission and vision forward. The pastor must keep mission and vision front and center and share how church members can become a part of it. The “why” behind what the church does drives the behavior of the church. When a person becomes a member of your church, it is important for them to understand why it exists and how they can immediately become a part of it as they grow closer to Christ. If they do not know the mission, they will stray off course. Teach your church members through your preaching to filter every idea and opportunity through the church’s mission statement. Sabotaging begins when a church member abandons the mission of the church. If a softball player starts to wear football gear to practice, everyone will notice that he or she is dressed for the wrong sport and that they will not contribute effectively to the team. The same goes for the behaviors of your church members. If certain church members decide to start working against the mission and vision, people will notice. Keep the biblical mission and vision of church in front of people’s minds so that they can continually work towards helping you accomplish it.  

2. Positive Church members are thinking of a better way to do ministry.
Positive church members are thinking of a better way to work towards vitality in the church. They don’t just settle and coast, rather they are continually looking for better ways to reach people. It is your job as the pastor to empower your people to make things better. You do this by developing them into better leaders, entrusting them with the mission, and then deploying them to recruit others to join them on the journey. The people in your church must become the vision carriers. There will always be consumers in the church, those that attend but do not contribute. Focus on and pour into the people that have a passion to change the world for Christ. It is difficult to teach motivation and passion. People usually have it or they don’t. Passion and the call of God are the rocket fuel for the Gospel. When passion in a church member dies out, it is a sign that they are disengaging. Monitor the passion of your people.  A lack of motivation and passion can lead to sabotage. Challenge your people to think of better ways to do ministry.

3. Positive church members work hard.
Positive church members are teachable.  They possess a love of learning and are hungry for the “What's next?”, “Who's next?”, and “Where's next?” They work hard, play hard, and rest knowing they did what they could to help make a kingdom difference. They will bring you new ideas and a plan for integration and movement. All they need is a blessing from you. The energy and enthusiasm they bring to the organization is contagious.  Negative church members can sabotage a church revitalization with their attitudes and behaviors. Instead of being all in and digging in, they complain and try to distract others from working hard. They can be a negative influence on your church, your people, and on you. It is important to teach the people in your church to not listen to the negative voices around them. Challenge them to only listen to God’s voice and to work hard to see the mission and vision accomplished. Find people in your church that are passionate and work hard and give them something to do in accomplishing the mission.

4. Positive church members say “we” over “me”.
Lastly, positive church members continually say “we” and not “me”. Having the opportunity to change lives and being a part of a healthy, growing church is a privilege. Positive church members see their church as the hope engine for their community. They love Jesus, their church, and think of their church as an eternal family. For them, the weekend is another opportunity to impact and change another life. A positive church member lives for others and to make their church great. The idea of team is important to them, and they take their role seriously. They rarely speak negatively of people, their church, or their leadership. They understand empowerment over entitlement. This framework of thinking is essential for the kingdom because unless the people in the church are working together with a strong Gospel focus, it cannot accomplish all that God desires for them. We know that Jesus Christ is the hope of the world, and He wants to change the lives of people. Challenge your people to continually focus on others and not be consumed with self.

If you are fostering and encouraging a positive culture within your people, it will be very hard to sabotage the culture of the church through negative voices. Positive church members can be the majority voice.  A church focused on humility, prayer, and repentance will create a positive church environment, and it will be almost impossible for the Devil to use a negative church member to sabotage the organization.

What steps do you need to take to develop positive church members within your church?
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