“Biblical Church Revitalization” by Brian Croft: A Review

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It is stunning how many feelt hat a vibrant church full of life must have a pastor with a big personality, highly efficient programs, plenty of money, and a breath-taking modern facility. But the New Testament paints a very different picture. The infant church grew and was nourished by two fundamental commitments of the Apostles: prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). These two essential means of grace for revitalization compel the consciences of churches to surrender their clever efforts unto God’s all-wise and powerful plan. (52)

Every church I have ever pastored needed some level of revitalization. Some were in dier straits than others, but revitalization was a priority nonetheless. Both church planting and church revitalizatio have become growing buzz words and movements in ministry in recent years and rightly so. It reflects both the current state of the culture (growing hostility) and the church (sick and dying).

I recently picked up the book Biblical Church Revitalization: Solutions for Dying and Divided Churches by Brian Croft. The author is a pastor in Louisville and has witnessed the revitalization of his own church. Much of this book tells that story.

Books like this often promise much and deliver very little. The marketing promises that it will unfold for the reader a simple guide to growing their church. That is not this book. Croft’s approach is to draw the reader to consider again the biblical text. He argues that Scripture is clear on what the church is and we would be wise to uncover it if we are to revitalize the local church.

At the end of the day, the above quote encompasses the main approach Croft takes. Faithful preaching and pastoral ministry along with vibrant prayer are critical requirements for a healthy church and vibrant revitalization. There is no magical formula or quick fixes. Beyond that, the author explores areas of leadership, authority, and other practical matters.

The final section of the book is personal in nature. Croft shares his story of revitalization and how he was almost fired on multiple occassions. It is a reminder that ministry and revitalization is difficult work but as the story unfolds, the reader is reminded that God-willing, the turn around can and will take place. That is our hope.

Overall, this is a helpful volume on revitalization. Our churches need it. In the end, let us faithful preach and pray.

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