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Research on Revitalization - Developing a Church Plant/Missionary Mindset - Shanks

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

In his doctoral studies, the researcher designed a project “to catalyze revitalization” at his church by re-orienting the church around a missionary mindset. To accomplish this, he attempted to cultivate a church plant mindset among a select group of members of his church through the implementation of a six-week training module.

The researcher designed the training module to imitate the kind of training church planters employ with their launch teams. By utilizing church plant methodologies, he hoped to cultivate the vibrancy and passion that often characterize new church plants. His training module included 4 topics: Missional Thinking, Outward Focus, Spiritual Disciplines, and Evangelism.

The training module failed to produce in participants a deeper commitment to the spiritual disciplines (Prayer, Bible study, and evangelism). It failed to communicate adequately an outward focus. It also failed to produce greater efforts at missional evangelism.

Perhaps the hardest lesson the project director learned relates to the particular

personalities of the training module participants and the flexibility of words and their definitions.

He stated, “After studying the results of the post-test, particularly the results of those questions related to the spiritual disciplines, the project director concluded that the area of spiritual disciplines needs more careful attention in the future. He believes the disappointing post-test results in other areas derive from a failure to practice the spiritual disciplines. People who do not share a vibrant relationship with God, as evidenced by a strong devotional life, will not feel the urgency of the Great Commission.

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