Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches
By Mark Clifton (B&H Publishers)
Mark Clifton, senior director of replanting/revitalization at the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board, wrote this book to help declining and dying churches learn how God can bring them back to life again.
The first three chapters lay the groundwork for this process, asking the question, “Should we replant?” There are ways to replant, and Clifton covers those, as well. Chapter 4 is the turning point of the book, where Clifton talks about replanting imperatives. Key lessons include pray without ceasing, love the church’s remaining members, get to know the neighborhood around the church, simplify strategy, focus on reaching young men and make disciples who make disciples.
The remainder of the book deals with stories and examples of transformed churches. The author directly asks, “Are you a replanter?” After raising the question, Clifton insists, “You can’t replant.” Rather, it is the Holy Spirit within a willing servant who does the work of replanting and revitalization. Clifton closes with a thought-provoking epilogue.
This book obviously is a must-read for church leaders who serve congregations that are declining or dying. The author presents the options. It is up to Christian leaders to heed this advice.
Northeast Baptist Church