Resources on preaching for revitalization

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by reaganmarsh, Apr 25, 2013.

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  1. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior


    I am seeking to build a reading/study list on the subject of church revitalization.

    I have read a couple of articles at 9Marks, and have read with great delight Mike Ross's excellent "Preaching for Revitalization: How to Revitalize Your Church through Your Pulpit." (Monergism Books :: Reformed Books - Discount Prices)

    I was given a copy of Harry Reeder's "From Embers to a Flame" and plan to begin it next week; most reformed pastors I know have spoken well of it.

    What else should I read/listen to/study? I am interested in articles, books, lectures, book chapters, courses, etc., which you have found biblically-faithful and practically helpful. My interest is in biblical reformation & revitalization, not mere pragmatism. I long to see our congregation joyfully living for God's glory.

    Thanks in advance, brethren. Grace to you.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  2. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    For sure, include Edwards' writings on the Awakening in New England.

    If you like church history and would approciate a historian's perspective, consider Richard Lovelace's Dynamics of Spiritual Life. It's a bit of a cumbersome read, but it's packed with gospel-focused insight about revival and renewal built on thousands of years of church history, beginning with the Old Testament church.
  3. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    In Reeder's book, one of the things he recommends for pastors who are preaching for revitalization is to preach through 1 Timothy (or at least do a Bible study through the whole book). I would probably recommend Philip Ryken's commentary on 1 Timothy, part of the Reformed Expository Series.

    1 Timothy (Reformed Expository Commentary): Philip Graham Ryken: 9781596380493: Books

    One minor caution: I do not agree with his position on deacons (read: gender issues). As a Southern Baptist, I suspect you would share some of the same convictions.
  4. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Consider Dr Loyd-Jones Preaching and Preachers. The chapter 'Demonstration of Spirit and of Power" would be very helpful
  5. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Men, I thank you for your responses. I will read Reeder next (giving due consideration to Rev. Phillips' caution), and will definitely check out Lovelace. I have read Edwards but will re-read him with this question in mind.

    Stephen, I have read Lloyd-Jones' Preaching and Preachers with profit, and will revisit that chapter. Thank you!

    What else?

    As an aside, are there any particularly helpful PB threads on the subject of Church Revitalization to which you can might point me?

    I am grateful for your time and assistance, and rather surprised that this matter is not more fully addressed in Reformed circles. I don't say that as a criticism. It's just strange to me that the level of pastor and theologian produced by Reformed theology has not birthed more on this topic.
  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Until recently, the focus seemed to be almost exclusively on church planting. It's only been in the last few years that revitalization has begun to be looked at.
  7. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers by John Owen calls attention to the first step in revitalization; true repentance and dying to sin daily. It is difficult to start a fire in the pouring rain. It is equally difficult to call a church to action when its members have one (if not two) feet firmly entrenched in the world.
  8. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    The caution was for Ryken, not Reeder (and even then, only 1-2 pages in the book). :)
  9. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Rev. Phillips, I stand corrected! Not sure how I misread that but thank you just the same! Ryken goes into the pile (with the 1-2 pages given due caution!)

    Bill, I will add The Mortification of Sin to my re-reading list. A helpful observation. Thank you.

    Edward, it seems that such is the case. Church planting is what the cool kids are doing! :) Are the Presbyterian churches declining as rapidly as the Baptists? I was at a meeting this week where the speaker said that over 80% of SBC churches are plateaued or declining.
  10. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

    The RPCNA has both church planting and revitalization committees. The latter is called "Vital Churches" and offers help to our older congregations that are in need. If you PM me, I can give you the email address of a friend of mine (Rev. Joel Wood, Sterling KS) who serves on the Vital Churches committee. I am sure that he would have many helpful resources to recommend.
  11. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    I should have added -- feel free to call me "Tim."
  12. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    You know much that is hidden, oh Tim.

    Sent from my most excellent GalaxyS3
  13. timmopussycat

    timmopussycat Puritan Board Junior

    You should also read Lloyd-Jones on Revival for a superb analysis of what is today called revitalization. See also his Evangelistic Sermons at Abaravon for how he put his principles into practice. And you can check out Eifon Evans "Daniel Rowland and the Great Awakening in Wales for a historical account of how revitalization in the church transformed Wales a transformation that lasted nearly two centuries.
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    There are a lot of dying churches in the PCA - thus the impetus for the revitalization efforts. Some of them are demographically disadvantaged, and there is not a whole lot that can be done about that. Others don't want to get out of their comfort zone, and there is something that can be done about that.

    A few years ago, a traumatic and poorly handled transition at one of the larger church resulted in a loss of membership that offset all of the gains from the rest of the denomination for that year. A bit later, a traumatic, but better handled, transition at our even larger church had a noticeable impact on denominational statistics. On the other hand, a lot of the smallest churches don't report statistics. So it's much harder to get a handle on trends than it is in bodies where the tracking is better.
  15. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Men, thank you again for your responses. I am very grateful for your input.

    Rev. Phillips, I will address you as Tim (just habit to speak to others in that manner -- I'm from the south!). Ha!

    Rev. Eshelman, I will PM you. Thank you!

    Timmopussycat, would you be kind enough to post a link to the Lloyd-Jones works you mentioned? I am only somewhat familiar with his work. I loved Preaching and Preachers, and have appreciated his Ephesians commentary, but don't know much else about the MLJ corpus.

    Edward, that is helpful information. Thank you.

    What else should I read?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  16. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Mr. Cunningham (timmopussycat), thank you! Those links are very helpful. I am grateful for your time and assistance!

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