(This message was originally published on July 10, 2014)

I can still remember the words of my seminary preaching professor, “It is easier to make a new life than to raise the dead.” (He said something along those lines.) This was my professor’s way of promoting church planting. By God’s providence, it turns out that I did have the privilege of being a church planter. However, I have also had the privilege of being associated with established churches. The first church I served after graduating from seminary just celebrated its 200th anniversary – and the church has a strong and respected ministry.

Now, the SBC of Virginia has made church planting a priority since our inception. Rightly so, church planting is one of our primary ministry objectives. Through the partnership of the SBC of Virginia, churches are actively involved in supporting, strengthening, and sending out church plants. Early on in our history, ‘churches planting churches’ was more than a slogan, it became a passion.

But what about the many churches that are already established across this harvest field? While maintaining our strong priority of church planting, I believe we could see a movement to see churches revitalized too. For several years, church planting has been in the ministry spotlight, but I am also seeing a desire for churches to be revitalized.

SBC of Virginia is also dedicated to strengthening and supporting churches in being revitalized. We have strategically deployed regional missionaries that are called to strengthen church ministries, pastors, and leaders. We are working to provide local church ministry resources. We are building a team of pastors and local church leaders who are being equipped to help consult with churches.

Today, I simply want to ask for your prayers and your support as we join together as SBC of Virginia to plant churches – but let us also ask the Lord to revitalize churches – desiring all of His churches to grow stronger.

Let us pray that churches will…

Have prayerful dependence upon the Lord…

  • Lead their members to be missionaries to their mission field…
  • Look at their communities as a harvest field…
  • Build leaders who seek to be holy, humble, and wholeheartedly serving Him…
  • Have an atmosphere that is welcoming and hospitable…
  • Display the glory, grace, and good news of Christ…
  • …there is much more to pray for and over as we seek revitalized and strong churches.

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