Pastor is Key

The Pastor as the physical & spiritual leader of  a local congregation is the key element in both church health deterioration and/or revitalization. It is critical that the pastor realize this to be true!

Throm Rainer has said that nine of ten churches in American are declining, or they are growing slower than their community and he says that the pastor is a major contributor to the failure to revitalize.

I would state it a different way and say the pastor is the key player in church health. Rainer mentions the following four reasons (my order not his) for this failure.

1. Pastor fails to focus on corporate prayer
2. Pastor does not emphasize or have a membership/discipleship class.
3. Pastor fails to encourage/have outward/evangelistic focus.
4. Pastor spends to much time placating critics or naysayers!

The above is why I say that the pastor is key to church health, both physical & spiritual.

By physical, I mean the practical decisions, human activities and church organizational structure such as the decision to implement or not the four reasons above and by spiritual, I mean prayer both corporate and personal and  also the Biblical (Word of God) foundation and work of the Holy Spirit.

In most cases, if not all, the church revitalization effort  is a combination of both physical & spiritual activities. However I will attempt to break them apart to show how the pastor is the KEY in the implementation of a plan to restore Church health.

The pastor can can usually start casting a vision for church revitalization through personal and corporate prayer, plus implement membership/discipleship and  evangelism programs as well as a personal decision not to focus on the critics and naysayers, but on revitalization.

The pastor in most churches has the freedom to initiate most of the above initiatives  as  they build unity with staff and the key church leadership on developing a formal plan for church revitalization and renewal.

It is my recommendation the pastor spend time in mediation and prayer for direction and discernment as they implement the above initiative.  Start as soon as possible with staff and church leaders such as elders, deacons, etc to build unity in creating a vision, mission statement, strategy, and implementation plan for this revitalization effort.

Every step be  bathed in prayer and reliance on the power of God’s Word and Holy Spirit  to be carried out, however it also requires the physical element of a decision and commitment to implement this program (physical element).

Based on the condition of the local congregation, this can be done in parallel.  While the pastor is building unity in church leadership and changing the direction of church, the pastor is casting a vision in corporate prayer and public comments while  implementing a preaching/teaching program & initiate a discipleship program to build a solid Biblical/spiritual foundation with the people of the church. START TODAY!

The pastor needs to use every occasion to caste the vision in his prayers, conversation, preaching/teaching, and discipleship program and all other elements possible to continue to reinforce the elements of church health!

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Body of Christ

How healthy is your church?

God’s word calls the church the body of Christ and in many ways the Bible compares the church to the human body. Just as a human can be unhealthy before it is discovered/recognized, the same is true for a local church.

1 Cor 12:12-13 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. {13} Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[NLT]

Eph 1:22-23 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.[23] And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,[NLT]

An unhealthy church much like a human and can be seriously ill, before the illness is detected. In many cases that is because the individual ignored the symptoms and did not get a health check-up. The same is true for a local church!

A common statement about solving a problem, even a health problem is “Understanding your problem is half the solution” (actually the most important half).

Before we can solve a problem, we need to know exactly what the problem is, and we should put a good amount of prayer, thinking and resources into discovering and understanding it.

Recent studies show that as many as 70-80% of protestant churches in the USA are unhealthy. Understanding and treating/addressing the illness/problem is key!

Has your church undergone a Health Checkup recently? There are a number of areas that should be analyzed, but I have only listed three below that are easily evaluated.

1. Attendance – Has your average attendance been increasing, decreasing for past 3-5 years?
2. Giving – Has your offering been increasing, decreasing, or staying the same for last 3-5 years?
3. New Members– Has church membership for past 3-5 years been increasing,decreasing or staying the same?

If these three areas have not been increasing, It would be wise to do a self analysis of your church.

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There are a number of websites that offer FREE advise/resources in this area. One of these is my website (link below)








Charlie retired from the computer industry in 1992 at age 50. For the past 25 years he has been involved in a number of ministries with the longest as pastor of Paint Rock baptist Church. He retired from that position after nearly 15 years on Aug 31, 2016.

Charles King Retirement

Our Church Focus?

The following is taken from email from: Dan Jarvis, Managing Editor of Revive Magazine from Life Action Ministries

1) ZOOM OUT, 2) ZOOM IN, 3) Take Picture.

The email was referring to the focus of the families and individuals who attend our church. Are we focused on the right priorities? The right mission? The right vision for life?

Are we arranging our lives in such a way as to maximize our kingdom impact? Are they giving, loving, sharing, praying, and going out with intentionality, with relevance, with fruitfulness? Are we absolutely clear on how to accomplish their mission in life (and is the church helping us find that clarity)?

He compares the focus of a local congregation to that of focusing a camera, arriving at perfect clarity is a delicate matter—if you change positions, or if the subject of the photo changes, or if the lighting changes, refocusing is probably necessary. The same is true for church leadership; in a fast-paced culture where things keep changing (and we keep changing as well), the process of refocusing is critical, and it’s continual.

If we have not refocused lately, we may well be out of focus.

He speaks of three steps to getting focused back to mission clarity, both organizationally and personally. These three steps are 1) ZOOM OUT, 2) ZOOM IN, and  then 3) Take Picture.

Zoom Out: Consider the mission God has you and your church on earth to accomplish (the Great Commission, in the spirit of the Great Commandment).

  • Is our church providing clear, up-to-date evangelistic training?
  • Does our church have an intentional disciple-making strategy that engages a majority of the congregation?
  • Do we have any measurable goals to reach our community, nation, other people groups, etc.?
  • Are the families in our church valuing outreach and missions above earthly things?
  • Is our church providing proactive opportunities for people to engage in outreach?
  • Is our collective engagement in global missions growing, and is our strategy up to date?
  • When was the last time we had a comprehensive review of our mission effectiveness as a congregation?

Zoom In: Consider your spiritual heart condition, and that of your fellow leaders and church members.

  • Are we enjoying our first-love relationship with God?
  • In our church, is sin confessed and humbly repented of?
  • Do we have a culture of holy living?
  • Do I and my leadership team members have strong, dynamic, growing relationships with God?
  • How are we evaluating the spiritual growth of our people, and what pathways do we provide for them to intentionally grow up in their faith?
  • Is there anything organizationally, culturally, or relationally that may be hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst?
  • When was the last time we evaluated the spiritual health of our leadership teams, and measured them against biblical priorities and qualifications?

Take a Picture: Utilize the answers to all these questions to get a clear picture of where we are today, and compare that with God’s vision and mission for churches and believers. From there, we can ask God to bring our future into focus.

  • What next steps should we take, individually or together?
  • What should we stop, and what should we start?
  • How could we more clearly communicate this to our congregation?
  • What are our areas of great spiritual need?
  • What specific ministry activities need to be refocused due to changing conditions?
  • What is our picture of the future (vision), and are we on track to get there?

He states  that he is pretty sure we’ll always be needing some amount of refocus in our ministry work, as I’ve been at it for many years and still find myself clarifying, simplifying, adjusting, starting and stopping.

He  closes with the thought  that  he is sure our experience is the same. Let’s pray that, above all, the Lord would give us focus on the things that are most important to Him.


The  above  is  another way to examine  the health  of our local church body!


My burden

For the past few years God has placed a reorcurring question in my mind and heart, “Why are so many protestant churches in America closing their doors each year?”

This website and my ministry is dedicated not only to answering this question, but also to point individuals and churches to the solution. Recent research indicates that about 3,700 churches in America dissolve every year. Research also indicates that there are about 300,000 other churches struggling with declining attendance, few or no new converts, and aging membership and inadequate resources to continue.

I am no expert, but a burdened servant willing to be a tool to help identify problem areas and encourage local congregations to focus on this issue. Before I became a pastor, I was moved a large number of times by the company where I worked and therefore was an active member of both small and mega churches. After being called into the ministry 25 years ago I have been exposed to even more churches through associations of churches and association with pastors. For the past 14 years I have tested many of the ideas on church revitalization in my local church with success.

During this time period we have dropped the average age of our membership by almost 20 years while greatly increasing our attendance and building a new family life center. Not only has our membership and attendance increased drastically also ministries and offerings.

This personal experience and extensive research is discussed or linked too from this website

Church revitalization is a Biblical burden. Jesus made this a priority in Jesus’ comments to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus sought to set right what was broken and give new life to what was dying. Addressing each church, He placed the spotlight on the particular reasons for their failing community testimony: lackluster love (Ephesus—2:2-7), false teaching (Pergamum and Thyatira—2:13–17; 20–23), lukewarm devotion (Laodicia—3:15–19). To the church at Sardis, Jesus said, “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God” (3:1–3, ESV).

Some see Revelation 3:2 as a proof text for church revitalization: “Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (ESV). Shouldn’t we be as concerned for congregations today with little or no gospel witness as Christ was for Sardis?

Jesus solution to the seven churches was REPENT!

The resources on this website are FREE resources to help a church identify if they are in need of revitalization. I am a FREE resource to be a coach, accountability, and encourager. I am also available to lead a seminar or revival service to help shine Biblical light on the subject.

Pastoral Leadership

The pastor has to have a vision and a commitment to seeking new life for the church.

Everyone agrees that healthy churches grow, but it is true that a church cannot be healthy if the leader is spiritually unhealthy. If the leader is discouraged, the church will inevitably be discouraged. The most important aspect of a strong, healthy church is the quality and commitment of leadership. It has been said, “everything rises or falls on leadership” and this is especially true for the local church. No church will be any stronger than its leadership. A growing, vibrant church must have a growing, vibrant pastor. If the pastor is discouraged or despondent, the church will almost always take on that same characteristic.

As I have conducted numerous church revitalizations, it quickly becomes evident that to be successful the pastor has to have a vision and a commitment to seeking new life for the church.

More Info

Effective Church Planning


Four Elements of Effective Church Planning

Any time we make plans that impact a group of people—whether it’s our church, ministry, business or even our family—we have the opportunity to deepen and enrich our relationships, both with God and the people around us.

But this takes discipline and deliberate effort, because every human interaction—including planning for the future—is tainted to some degree by sin.

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