When a church gets started with a church revitalization, it must do so like a candidate preparing to run for office; the church must pick it’s party.
That’s an easier call for a candidate: Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Independent, etc. Also, in which district will the candidate run and for what office. For a church, it is a bit different: Large, Medium, or Small in the general area that the church presently exists.
The church should not focus on what it wants to look like down the road. That is a bit foolish. It sets up a graven image that, should it not come to pass, builds the church up to resent God for not helping with what the congregation poured their hearts into. In short, it is not whether the church wants to have 1,000 families with 2.5 children per family a large daycare program and a huge new playground. But, the church needs to decide if it wants to be a very large congregation, medium congregation, or small congregation. The church also needs to decide up front if it wants to be a traditional church or a contemporary church. The church should decide if it wants to move from its present location or not (for my purposes I’ll assume the church is staying put). Lastly, the church needs to determine what demographics it will need to “win.”
Demographics are relatively straight forward. If the church wants to be a small church, it can cater to empty nesters. These people, by virtue of their characteristics, rarely have small children who will in and of themselves help revitalize the church. A medium church needs a combination of young people and older people. A large church needs a great deal of young people, or in the alternative can target lots of older people. However, targetting lots of older people can complicate matters. The older you are the greater the likelihood you’ll die. So, the church will have to keep replenishing (though once a reputation is built, it won’t be too hard).
So, a church needs to find its general profile that it wants to be. About what size (oh, don’t rely on numbers. They constrain you. Just, what is the gut feeling) should the church be; should be be contemporary, traditional, or blended; and what demographic (old, middle aged, younger, newly married couples, a combination of them, etc.) does the church want. Once the church makes the determination, it will have its candidate.
Here is my the church for my hypo. We’ll need this for future reference. The church will be a medium sized church (this varies based on location. While I said no numbers, for your reference it would be between 150 – 250 people), mostly traditional, with a good mix of younger couples with small children and empty nesters.
Let the campaign begin.