By the staff at byFaith.com
There comes a time when every church needs revival — when congregations that started with a burst of energy reach a plateau — calcified in habits, schedules, expectations, and ministry; churches that will continue to decline without a strong dose of revitalization.
In recent years it’s dawned on several PCA pastors that what’s true of the local church is also true of the regional church — the presbytery. Three pastors in particular — Jason Dorsey, Ray Cortese, and Bruce O’Neil — have seen such decay firsthand, and decided to do something about it. At the 2014 General Assembly, these men shared much of what they had learned; they talked about warning signs, the purpose of presbytery, participation, and the attitudes of those who are there.
Recently Larry Hoop, editor of Reasoning Together, spoke to these men, hoping to learn more about what it takes to cultivate a thriving presbytery.
It begins with the tone of the meeting. “If presbytery meetings seem lifeless, contentious, or purposeless, it’s time to think about revitalization,” says Ray Cortese. Ask men to define why they’re meeting. Or after the meeting, ask them if they accomplished their goals. If they give you that befuddled look, the presbytery needs to be invigorated. More to the point, if the meeting fails to advance the mission Christ gave the church, then, he says, we need to rethink what we’re doing.