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Some churches wait too long before they will consider working in the area of church revitalization and renewal. Once critical mass has been lost and has dwindled to below fifty adult active members it is very difficult to develop the necessary momentum needed to begin the process of revitalization. When this happens usually one of two things happen. The first is that the church gets mad and looks for someone to blame while wanting to hang on a little longer in hope of a miracle. Those stiff backs stand up and defy someone to help them unless they do it their way which currently is not working. The second and the best way is to deed over the church and its facilities to an association which can put either church planters in place or a Church Revitalizer.

It is a best practice to have a closing of the church and deeding the property over to the association service which allows for a dignified closure and transisition from rapidly declining church to new church revitalization effort. There are some groups which will place a church planter into the mix and want you to deed your facilities over to a national agency, which just might later sell it to recoupe its cost of investing in your church for three years. The preferred choice is giving it to the local association which can place multiple plants and restarts into the property and therefore leave a legacy for the former church. One such church is right in Orlando which had declined to about sixteen people. It gave the facilities over to the local association and today it is known as the Rosemount Outreach Center with three churches meeting weekly in the facilities and around two hundred people now on campus each week.

Does your church need to consider and recognize that the existing ministry is approaching an end? There is a procedure that will allow you to start down a new path of church revitalization and renewal to have lasting impact and reach your changing community. This Leaving a Legacy Church Revitalization Model may be the very next step for your church to consider. What looks to be a crisis can really be an opportunity provided by God to allow your church to do something glorious for the Kingdom of God.[1]

Here is a brief synopsis of the Leaving a Legacy Church Revitalization Model and its conditions:
· To be considered for a Leaving a Legacy Church Revitalization model the local church will allow a Church On Site Assessment to be conducted in order to determine the feasibility of such an agreement.
· The potential Leaving a Legacy Church will agree to a change in leadership and decision-making makeup.
· The Leaving a Legacy Church will approve by vote of the church in an officially called business meeting to deed over all properties and assets to an Association or church revitalization network for the purpose of placing a Church Revitalizer into the revitalization project.
· The Leaving a Legacy Church Revitalization model will call for the local church to allow the revitalization association or network to develop a Church Revitalization Assistance Team which will work side by side the Church Revitalizer for the purpose of support and counsel during the revitalization project.

This model is in most cases a last ditch effort to allow the church an opportunity to seek revitalization and renewal before it collapses and looses its ability to maintain critical mass. Many a church simply waits until it is too late and can only use this model for an effort of revitalization. If you and your church are in this state of rapid decline please take the time to contact us at the Renovate Group and allow us to come along side of you for the purpose of leaving a legacy for the Lord through the effort of restarting your church fresh and a new.

[1] If you have come to the realization that it is time to consider a restart for your church, we have a plan and want to talk with you about a process for planting a new church right in your community. To explore this Leaving a Legacy Church Revitalization Model, contact Dr. Tom Cheyney, Founder & Directional Leader of Renovate National Church Revitalization Group at tom@renovateconference.org.
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