Can A Church Live Again?

book cover

Can A Church Live Again?
The Revitalization of a 21st-Century Church

by Ronny Russell

Regular Price: $14.00
Online price: $11.20
Paperback/144 Pages

Church Life
ISBN: 1-57312-418-4

Brief Description

Turning around an old, established church is not an easy task. Waters have to be stirred, people have to be shaken out of their comfort zones, and often there are enormous costs to bear.

Change does not come easy in established churches. Many churches make the mistake of changing programs or worship styles without first changing the core values of the church. Change does not happen overnight. Anyone who would transition a church had better pack a lunch and make a commitment for the long haul.

Can a Church Live Again? tells the story of one church’s renewal and revisioning over the past decade. A long-tenured pastor and other church leaders had a vision for a spiritual restoration of their church through its disciple-making roots. The result has been that a century-old church in rural North Carolina has become a model for church renewal.

This story is told in Pastor Ronny Russell’s own words, sharing principles of how this all happened for his church…and how a similar renewal can be felt by any church. This is not a quick-fix for church stagnation or decline. Rather, it is the inspiring story of one church’s journey into hope and life.

About the Author

Ronny Russell, D. Min., is the senior pastor of Mission Baptist Church in Locust, N.C., where he has served for twenty-eight years. He and his wife, Judy, have two children, Jennifer and David, and three grandchildren, Trey, Jillian, and Will.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Journey

Chapter 1
Holy Discontent
– You Have Come to the Right Place
– Where Disciples Are Being Made
– The Last One Called
– A Major Paradigm Shift
– Heavily Programmed
– A Generation Lost
– Holy Handyman
– Slow Burnout
– Not at Home in Midian
– Smoldering Tumbleweeds
– Why Would Anyone Want to Join This Church?
– An Unlikely Theophany—But Aren’t They All?

Chapter 2
Holy Discoveries
– Heaven, We Have a Problem
– Gone But Not Forgotten
– The Outside Prophet
– Divine Appointments
– Mentors
– The Power of the Printed Page
– The Power of the Group
– A New Reformation
– There Is Pow’r, Pow’r, Wonder-working Power
– Streams in the Desert
– Murmuring

Chapter 3
Stirring the Waters
– In Need of a Story
– Stagnancy and Stirring
– Notable Quotables
– Read, Read, Read
– Disturbing the Status Quo
– Friends in Low Places
– Bubble-up People
– Oh, the Place You’ll Go
– Messiness Rules
– Casting the Vision

Chapter 4
Counting the Cost
– See a Hill, Take a Hill
– A Decisive Destination
– 500 What?
– Where Will They Go?
– This Train Is Bound for Glory, This Train?
– Three Distinctives
– Normative for God’s People
– Defraying the Cost
– The Cost of Doing Nothing

Chapter 5
Mental and Spiritual Toughness

Chapter 6
The Prophet
– Making the Truth Loom Large
– The Outside Prophet
– Prophets Among Us
– The Poet Has a Tough Job Too
– Piercing Prose
– The Support Group as Prophet
– The Biblical Prophets

Chapter 7
Changing Values Before Changing Structure
– The Mission
– We Shall Not Be Moved
– Lo, the Resistance You Have With You Always
– Not a Gated Community
– Legitimizers
– Affirm the Pioneer Spirit
– The Church Constitution
– Ready for Radical Reform
– Dying to Self

Chapter 8
The Laws of Wingwalking
– Rules for Wingwalking
– Rules for Wingwalking and Transitioning a Church
– How This Works in a Church
– Applied to Sunday School
– Applied to Worship
– Applied to Small Groups
– The Early Church
– Wingwalking Begins on the Ground
– Don’t Tear Down that Fenc
– Let Go Anyway!

Chapter 9
– Insert Change and Stand Back!
– Change as a Value
– The Church Building
– Change Must Begin with the Clergy
– “Chaordic”
– Centralized vs. Decentralized
– A Continuous Process
– We Are Drifters

Epilogue: What I’ve Been Thinking Lately

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