In 2019, the Illinois Baptist State Association restructured its staff and ministry priorities in large part to help churches revitalize their own ministries. The 2020 global pandemic forced a pause on some key initiatives, said IBSA’s Scott Foshie, but churches across the state are still engaging in the revitalization process.
“Even though our process involvement has slowed during COVID, interest in revitalization has increased dramatically during 2020,” Foshie said. “We want each church to know that IBSA is committed to serving with you as you seek the Lord to energize your ministry in 2021.”
There are three key steps in the process presented by IBSA and partnering ministry Corpus Vitae, headed by Rob Peters:
Free church health assessment: Every IBSA pastor is invited to take Peters’s Church Vision Receptivity Assessment free of charge. After the assessment is completed, a Revitalization Team member will meet with the pastor to review results, look at the church’s health trends, and talk about revitalization and what it would look like at that particular church.
ReFocus assessments and coaching: The IBSA Revitalization Team is ready to provide churches with comprehensive Pastor and Church Assessments from ReFocus. Pastor assessment results are confidential to the pastor, and the team will develop a detailed coaching plan to help pastors grow to be as effective as possible. In addition, the team will provide starting points to help the church prepare for their next season of health and growth. (IBSA covers half the cost of the assessments; contact the Revitalization Team for details.)
ReFocus meetings with church leadership team: The IBSA team is available to meet with the pastor and four other members of the church leadership team (in-person or virtually) to develop a revitalization plan for the church. A church can start this process at any time. Meetings take place once monthly for six months. After the 6-month plan development process is completed, IBSA Pathfinders continue checking in monthly and are available as needed for insight and support as a church continues to progress through the revitalization process during the months and years to come. (IBSA invests $1,000 into each church going through this process; contact the Revitalization Team for details.)
Foshie encouraged pastors to think of the revitalization process not as more work, but as more support. “Our team is not here to create more work for you. We are here to help you focus your church’s mission and resources around the Great Commission.
“Many of our pastors in the revitalization process are reporting that they are already feeling more focused and effective at what they do. The tools they’ve received have helped them navigate effectively through an extremely challenging year.”
For more information about IBSA’s revitalization process, contact Scott Foshie at (217) 391-3122 or go to IBSA.org/church-revitalization.