Resounding the Glory of God

Darren HalesAll Enews, Strengthening Team

One of the benefits of our partnership with the Missouri Baptist Convention is access to their revitalization tools and team. They call it the Resound Network. It is a movement of pastors and churches who partner with regional leaders to engage in a revitalization process. The Resound Network is passionate about infusing new life into churches so that they resound with the glory of God. They invite churches to enter a process of self-discovery and to prayerfully seek the Lord for spiritual renewal. This inquiry allows them to assess their spiritual health with revealing data. The church then decides on the action steps that will enable them to embrace their mission strategically and wholeheartedly.

In partnership with the Resound Network, the MTSBC has been exploring ways to catalyze relationships in Montana that will lead to stronger and more vibrant churches. Grace Community Church in Boulder is our pilot church and we have been guiding them through the revitalization process. They have taken the assessments and now have recommendations to consider. The pastors from Valley Community Church in Miles City and Park City Baptist Church attended the Resound Summit in February. It encouraged us to lead with hope. A member of the Resound Team, Gregg Boll, spoke at MPact about the values and goals of the Resound Network. A group of a dozen pastors and church leaders met during the affinity time to formulate our own network. Our movement has begun. 

The Resound Network begins with the Biblically Healthy Church Target. It is comprised of the Identities, Foundations, and Structures of the local church. These work together to paint a picture of a healthy church. The Identities are Worshipper, Family, and Missionary. The Foundations of the local church are the Gospel, Scripture, and Prayer. The Structures of a healthy church are Leadership, Membership, and Discipleship. The assessment tool asks specific questions of church members related to these nine areas. These questions reveal what is true about the local church and it provides data that enables a church to chart a new path with coaching and encouragement from the Resound Network.

There are usually specific reasons that churches are in decline. Is your church in decline? Would you want to know why and how to address it? The steps of the Resound process are simple. 1) Explore the revitalization process and determine if it is right for you and your church. The church must vote to enter the process, complete the assessment, and consider the recommendations. Ultimately, the church will decide its action steps. 2) Discover if your church aligns with a biblically healthy church target and learn about the needs of your community through the assessments. 3) We will Present our findings and offer recommendations for the church to consider. 4) The local church votes to Affirm and Implement the recommendations or choose their own course of action. 5) Multiply the impact of the Resound Network by sharing what God has done in your church with other churches in need of revitalization.

Based on the findings, a church in decline will typically fall into three main categories: revitalization, replant, or repurpose. Through revitalization, churches make strategic changes with specific action steps. These changes are incremental. They take time to implement, and the church receives coaching and encouragement from the Resound Network. Some churches cannot address their issues on their own. They need additional leadership and resources to implement change, so they need a partner church to help them. We call this replanting. Wholesale changes are needed, and the partner church assumes partial or full control of the church to help it get back on a track of health and sustainability. Finally, some churches may decide to be repurposed. This local church has run its course, but it still has a facility and resources. This church recognizes a Gospel centered church is vital to their community and they surrender their assets to the MTSBC for a future church plant or ministry center.

Montana needs a Resound Network. We have many churches in decline. Together, we can come alongside pastors and churches for Kingdom advance. Do you and your church want to join the team? Does your church want to explore the revitalization process? Let’s start the conversation.

For more information contact Darren Hales at 406-461-9120 or [email protected].

About the Author

Darren Hales

Darren Hales is the Church Strengthening Team Leader of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.