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Church Priorities Reset

Let me share my heart as your superintendent. The church in America is trying to figure out what has happened since the pandemic. Many of the people who were a<ending before the pandemic are no longer a<ending (anywhere). The congrega@on size has shrunk for many, especially the mega-churches. What happened? I believe the pandemic is not the cause of what many churches are encountering today due to diminished a<endance and a<endance frequency. America has been facing a downward trend in a<endance for over a decade. The pandemic just ripped the band-aid off a situa@on that already existed.

A<endance in the Assemblies of God and every other church denomina@on or fellowship in America has been trending downward for over a decade. According to recent data from the Assemblies of God, over eighty percent of our churches show signs of decline and plateau in the Alabama Assemblies of God. These alarming sta@s@cs will only worsen if churches in our fellowship do not realize they have a problem connec@ng to their communi@es. We have lost influence within our communi@es, resul@ng in diminished a<endance. Over the past five years, Alabama's Assemblies of God churches have also lost ground in the ba<le against the kingdom of darkness through a decrease in salva@ons, water bap@sms, and Spirit bap@sms. Plateau and the decline of the local church ul@mately will lead to the church's death.

Crea@ng a healthy church network in Alabama remains crucial to reverse this church plateau and decline trend. The need for change remains urgent. In the physical realm, when an individual develops an unhealthy heart, doctors warn pa@ents to take the issue seriously and change their lifestyle. If the heart problem con@nues without a remedy, it can result in a heart a<ack; the person suffering from the a<ack must receive CPR to revive them and get their heart func@oning again to save their life. Likewise, in the spiritual realm, if the church does not follow the biblical model for life, it also has developed a heart problem that requires spiritual interven@on. A church experiencing plateau or decline needs revival—it needs spiritual CPR, a Church Priori@es Reset.

The church must return to its biblical design, which is to engage its local community culture with the life-giving message of the Gospel. When a church ceases to func@on as a New Testament church, it becomes spiritually sick and needs divine interven@on. When an individual has a heart a<ack, the body either loses or has restricted blood flow to the brain and vital organs, which can cause a stroke (incapacita@ng them) or loss of life. One of two

things will happen: 1) they will die, or 2) someone will a<end to them to get their heart back in rhythm and blood flow reestablished to sustain life throughout their body.

The church can suffer a spiritual heart a<ack, losing its divine flow, resul@ng in “spiritual paralysis” or spiritual death—churches that cease func@oning as New Testament churches incorpora@ng Biblical priori@es need CPR—Church Priori@es Reset. Interven@on is necessary when the church becomes incapacitated as an agent of the Gospel. The role of the local church is to be vital to its community as a source of spiritual life. When a church func@ons with God’s divine flow coursing through its veins, it will be evidenced in the weekend church gatherings. It should also be witnessed through its community engagement with the Gospel. If you gather on Sundays without impac@ng your community with God’s life-giving grace—you may only be a social club rather than a church. You may need CPR! The church must reset its priori@es to align with God’s word and plan for His church. The first step in resebng the local church to its God given mission is for the leadership to realize it’s in trouble and do something about it. Jesus said, “I will build my church....”

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