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Church Health Follow-Up

Written by: Carl Shank

A church I worked with is a prime example of what proper, extended follow-up can do.

Their beloved pastor had been with that congregation for many years. He had brought them stability, sound biblical sermons and studies, and sensitive pastoral care. Yet, he felt that something was missing from the church—converts! Oh, they had their share of transfers and a few unchurched visitors once in a while. They paid their bills on time, and the church had that “good” fellowship feel.

Their initial diagnosis was administered by a fellow consultant. A number of surveys were taken, services and classes were observed, and meetings with the pastor and church board were held. His report shocked and angered them. He essentially told them they were “dead in the water,” that their worship services severely lacked life and for all their “warmth,” they were moving backwards in church health and growth. It was my task to help them come to grips with this report and to move them forward in the follow-up process.

I met a number of times with the pastor and with the church leadership, including the worship committee and team.

What began as a single follow-up time with God stretched out to several months of very deep and soul-searching meetings and prayer times. God moved in the midst of those very difficult days. Confessions, repentance of dead works, and revitalization followed.

Yes, the initial worship crew resigned and there was a price to pay for real-life change to happen. But the end result was phenomenal.

The pastor resigned and became a church planter in the area. Several of the leaders

of the church helped form the core of a new church that would focus on unchurched unbelievers. Phone calls were made, mailings were sent, and days and nights of prayer took place. The new church opened with hundreds of people, with most of them never having been in a church beforehand. God moved. Conversions took place. The pastor has never been the same since. That deep-seated desire to reach others for Christ and that pent-up goal of seeing unchurched people fill a church continue to take place.

The former church helped to birth a daughter and fulfilled the Great Commission

in a dramatic, life-changing way. They continue to trust God and move ahead in their health journey. But all of this took place after months of deep-seated, follow-up work.

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