A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we should not give up on older churches that are platued or declining. I gave a call, particularly to the younger generation to invest the time and energy of building up this congregations. However, despite all the empahsis in church planting, there are reasons why established churches can make a huge impact in advancing the Gospel in their communities. Here are a few reasons why we should continue to seek to revitalize these congregations.
1. Resources, Resources, Resources
The amount of resources in established churches are astounding. The amount of financial assets, fascilities, and people are overwhelming. The reason most of these churches have started declining is not because they lack resources, but because they lack vision. These established churches have the resources to do incredible things for God and his mission, the problem is they may need to be reprioritized.
2. Established Churches Already Have a Presence in the Community
For churches who have been around a while, most people have at least heard of your church in the community. They may drive by your building, have met one of your church members over the years, or have visited one Sunday. Established churches have a natural network of people established over the years that the church can use for missions and disciple making. Now, having everyone in the community know your church can be a good thing. It can be bad if your church has rubbed the community the wrong way over the years, however it can be a huge blessing if over the years the church has demonstrated a love to their city.
3. Established Churches are Multi-Generational
Another huge blessing to established churches is the variety of age groups. Many young church plants may have a plethora of 20-somethings but struggle to have wiser, older Christians who can disciple and invest in the younger generation. Having a multi-generational church is a good thing (See Titus 2). Having an established church across generation is a great opertunity to use the diversity of age for discipleship.
These are just a few contributions established churches bring to advancing the Kingdom of God. Although many of these churches are platued or declining, there is incredible potential to turn these churches around back on mission. We should not abandon these churches, but seek to cast a vision for the Great Commission in our community.
What other benefits to established Churches bring to reaching the community? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments!