Renew: Gospel Hope for Struggling Churches

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) announces a new one-day conference about Church renewal and revitalization on September 9, 2022. Designed for pastors, church leaders, and SEBTS students who are considering church revitalization ministry, the Renew Conference invites practitioners to a time of fellowship, encouragement, and practical counsel.

“Church renewal is an urgent gospel issue,” noted Keelan Cook, Instructor of Missiology and George Liele Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies. “We find ourselves at a critical moment in North America regarding the state of the church. Caught between internal generational transitions and massive external shifts in the culture around us, our churches face a moment that is both severe and urgent concerning their health and mission.” 

Church renewal is an urgent gospel issue.

Renewing and revitalizing churches requires prayer, endurance, Christ-like leadership, and many other works of the Holy Spirit. Although Church revitalization is challenging, it is a strategic and urgent ministry as thousands of churches plateau, experience significant decline, or close their doors every year.  

That is why SEBTS is partnering with several state conventions and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to host a conference this fall on Church revitalization to encourage and equip current leaders, pastors, and revitalizers as well as SEBTS students interested in Church revitalization. This one-day conference, called Renew: Gospel Hope for Struggling Churches, will include breakout sessions on practical ministry strategies and plenary sessions on the state of the Church, strategies for Church revitalization, and characteristics and practices of a Church revitalizer. Lunch will be provided as attendees are encouraged to fellowship and to connect for future ministry partnerships. 

“The Renew Conference represents something far bigger than a one-day event about Church revitalization,” commented Cook. “It is also about partnering together for the sake of the Great Commission. By working together in real partnerships like this, we each bring our strengths to the table and meet a need much bigger than a seminary, convention, or mission board can confront alone.” Event partners include SEBTS, the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, the South Carolina Baptist State Convention, the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, and the Replant initiative of NAMB.  

To learn more about these event partners and to register for the conference, visit the Renew Conference event page. 

“Southeastern is committed to producing Great Commission leaders who love the local church and want to see it grow,” shared Chuck Lawless, Senior Professor of Evangelism and Missions, Dean of Doctoral Studies, Vice President for Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers, and Richard and Gina Headrick Chair of World Missions at SEBTS. “We seek to produce graduates who love the Lord, love his word, and love the local church. Spiritually unhealthy leaders do not lead churches toward healthy church revitalization, so we want to help these leaders first be faithful and committed to the Lord.” 

Southeastern is committed to producing Great Commission leaders who love the local church and want to see it grow.

As churches close their doors each year, SEBTS is training generations of Great Commission students to love and revitalize plateauing and declining churches. Each semester, students in the church-revitalization programs at SEBTS receive biblical and theological training and ministry preparation to lead outposts of the kingdom toward healthy growth and faithfulness to Jesus’s mission. To learn more about church revitalization programs at SEBTS, visit the seminary’s degree page. 

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