You’ve seen them everywhere—squashed in between the latest superstores, crumbling on the outskirts of the neighboring subdivision, and hiding behind tall grasses off the freeway. There are old churches scattered all throughout urban areas in the Western world that are either being slowly forgotten or have already faded into the background. Replant is the story of how those local churches can be saved—from the inside out.
Instead of a five-step guide to church revitalization, Replant describes two drastically different leaders—Mark DeVine and Darrin Patrick—who took it upon themselves to revive a dying Kansas City church and return it to its former glory. This book aims to help pastors and leaders “take risks for God’s glory, to raise your gaze to what is possible, to challenge what is comfortable, so that God’s plan A—the local church—advances.”
The book begins with DeVine, a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, being assigned the new position of interim pastor at First Calvary Baptist Church—a classic church equipped with a beautiful sanctuary of ornate woodwork, colorful stained-glass windows, commanding organ pipes, and several decades’ worth of neglect and congregational decay. Upon seeing the church, DeVine instantly felt compelled to restore both the building and its congregation:
“The church of Jesus Christ is not a building; it is people. But First Calvary’s magnificent sanctuary was not just a building either. It commanded a historic and still-strategic outpost on the frontier of gospel advances namely within one of the increasingly secular cities of America, which are now among the fastest-growing mission fields on the planet.
I found myself unable to contemplate this declining flock with nonchalance. At stake were not mere bricks and stained glass, but the advance of the light against encroaching spiritual darkness.”
DeVine then took it upon himself to unseat the “cartel” of four long-time church members inhibiting growth, and connect First Calvary with the thriving church of a former student—that of Darrin Patrick, vice president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and pastor of The Journey. What happens once these two churches join forces? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out, but what I can tell you is that this story is one that pastors all over the world can relate to and learn from. It examines how churches suffering under the burden of shrinking congregations, crumbling infrastructure, and lack of morale can once again be revived for the glory of Christ.
“All contexts—suburban, rural, and urban—need new churches. But there is a special need for new churches in cities. By planting and replanting churches in urban centers, we have a strategic opportunity to influence the entire world, because the entire world is coming to live in, work in, and visit cities.” —Darrin Patrick
Discover their story for yourself: download this new book, Replant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again on Vyrso today.
You’ve seen them everywhere—squashed in between the latest superstores, crumbling on the outskirts of the neighboring subdivision, and hiding behind tall grasses off the freeway. There are old churches scattered all throughout urban areas in the Western world that are either being slowly forgotten or have already faded into the background. Replant is the story of […]