JEFFERSON CITY – Beginning Jan. 1, struggling Missouri Baptist churches will have a new partner as Brandon Moore heads up the Missouri Baptist Revitalization Network (MBRN).
Leading a church can be a challenge even in ideal circumstances. That goes double (or triple, or ten-fold) for a congregation that needs to take a hard look at itself and determine if revitalization or replanting might be the best way to glorify God.
Moore comes to the Missouri Baptist Convention staff after pastoring First Baptist, Oak Ridge, as well as coordinating Renovate SEMO, a concerted effort by Cape Girardeau Baptist Association to help guide pastors through that process with a residency program.
Revitalization and replanting are closely related concepts, Moore said. The differences have to do mostly with the intensity of change needed in a congregation and the time span over which it happens. Revitalization can often happen without any change in leadership over a stretch of several years, “chipping away” at change. Replanting a church typically involves new leadership, and “flips the switch” on the change with a new identity and a newly focused mission.
The MBRN is composed of leaders who serve as directors of missions, associational mission strategists and pastors: Gary Mathes and Alan Brock in the north; Greg Boll and Bob Bickford in the St. Louis and Kansas city regions; Preston Thompson in the central portion of the state; Philip Shuford in the southwest; and John Vernon in the southeast.
“The MBC is doing something really awesome in recognizing the need for revitalization across our state,” Moore said. “[We are] seeking to address that problem by building out a network of teams to help churches go through an intentional process like we went through at Oak Ridge.”
“There are leaders across the state that long to come alongside you find that passport to revitalization,” Moore said. “If you’re in a strong church that’s thriving, consider how you can partner with these churches and maybe invest in these struggling churches. Only a work of God can bring about revitalization.”
For more information on the process and the idea behind church revitalization, go to mobaptist.org/church-revitalization/ or contact Moore beginning Jan. 1 at 573-636-0400.