Church Health

10 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re a Leader in a Church that Needs Revitalization

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If you’re leading a church in a tough revitalization effort, these questions are designed to help you evaluate your own life as a leader. You will see an opportunity to “score” yourself at the end of the post.

  1. Are you walking in holiness? Leading your church toward change loses its significance if you are not walking with God. Indeed, your prayers will be hindered and your power will be lacking for the task if you are an ungodly leader.
  2. Have you prayed for wisdom? James reminds us to pray for wisdom when we need God’s help, particularly in trials (James 1:5). If you haven’t prayed for His insight yet, you might be trying to figure out answers on your own. That’s usually trouble.
  3. Do you have a memory verse in your pocket? The enemy continually seeks to distract and discourage us. If you want to defeat him, plant the Word in your heart by memorizing it. One of my favorites is the latter portion of 2 Chronicles 20:12 – “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
  4. How’s your family life? This question might seem strange, but it matters. Sometimes church leaders bear the stress of ministry by taking it out on their family. Please hear me: there is nothing godly about fixing your church at the expense of your home.
  5. Are you committed to the task? Moving a congregation toward health is seldom easy. Are you fully present in your church, or are you already looking for a new place to serve? Leaders with feet in two different worlds usually aren’t leading in either one.
  6. Do you see your congregation with eyes of faith? Faith is the evidence of things unseen (Heb. 11:1). It is the God-given ability to look at current circumstances and envision God’s working through them to bring glory to Himself. Having faith means genuinely believing that God still has plans for your church.
  7. What is your vision for the church? If I were to ask you to describe clearly what you believe God wants your church to be three years from now, would you have an answer? If your target is unclear, your strategy will be reactive and your people will be wandering.
  8. Do you ache for your neighbors and the nations to know Jesus? God-directed, Great Commission leaders long for God to save souls. They personally evangelize. They pray for the nations. Do you have such a commitment?
  9. Are you comfortable with a “little by little” approach? God told the Hebrews He was going to give them the land “little by little” (Exo. 23:29-30). If you want your church to be redirected and renewed by yesterday, you’re likely to be disappointed. Are you okay if God changes your congregation one step at a time?
  10. Are you really leading your church? You know the answer to this question, even if honesty hurts. You know if you’re genuinely casting vision, investing in others, modeling evangelism, and challenging your people. You also know if you’re going through the motions. If you need to, ask God to give you courage to lead again.

Suppose you were to score each question on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being “I’m very displeased with where I am” and 10 being “I’m very pleased with where I am”), what would your score be? What other questions would you add to this list?

*This article was originally published in January 2022 at

  • Church Health
  • Church Revitalization
  • Pastoral Ministry
Chuck Lawless

Director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership

Dr. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions, Dean of Doctoral Studies, and Vice-President for Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary, in addition to serving as Team Leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board. He previously served as a Vice-President for Global Theological Advance for the IMB. Prior to that, he was dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also served as Vice President for Academic Programming and the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies. He received a B.S. degree from Cumberland College and M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. He is the author of eight works, including “Membership Matters,” and “Spiritual Warfare,” and has contributed numerous articles to denominational periodicals. He and his wife Pam have been married for over 25 years and reside here in Wake Forest, NC.

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