#ReimagineFutureChurch: Reformat? Reboot? Reset?

Phil Miglioratti @ Reimagine.Network


[ Reformat ]: “to rearrange the shape, size, and general makeup or plan of  an organization”

[ Reboot ] : “the process of restarting a computer or electronic device to refresh its operating system, clear temporary data,

and resolve various software or hardware issues.”

[ Reset ]: “a reset clears any pending errors or  unexpected events and brings a system to an initial (original) state.”



My first mobile phone was like a brick and I must have said "can you hear me now" on seemingly every phone call; multiple times!


My current cell phone is sleek and smart. I can slip it in a pocket. I can alter how my screen looks and functions, increasing both efficiency and effectiveness. 


I reformat my phone by rearranging how my apps are positioned on my screen, usually prompted by a change in my lifestyle or preferences. Some are relegated to a second screen while others I use more often are moved to a prominent place I can access more quickly. Reformatting also gives me the opportunity to eliminate apps I no longer need or use. 


Periodically I reboot my phone. This allows it to cool down and reorient itself after storing a large quantity of data or to recalibrate after having a wide variety of processes running in the background. This step enables the operating system to operate more efficiently.


I've never reset my phone. When I run into a problem that has triggered the frightening “reset” option, I scramble to find another path to solve the problem. I fear that once I hit reset and the phone returns to its out-of-the-box (original) settings, I may lose photos and videos and may be unable to retrieve documents  and files. 


Life (personal discipleship), Church (congregational worship and fellowship), and Ministry (disciplemaking, prayer, evangelism, mission), like our smartphones, need attention and careful, deliberate, actions to react to problems (consistent attendance, family participation, low community impact), overheating (ministry exhaustion of staff and serving members), and underperforming (functioning but not achieving intended objectives).


These three technological solutions give us a template for reviewing and renewing life in Christ, leadership, and ministries. 

•Reformatting: a reassessment of priorities and plans

•Rebooting: a recalibrating of processes and practices 

•Resetting : a revision of purpose and principles


Sadly, many churches refuse to even ponder reformatting (conformed to/comforted by tradition), some resist any rebooting (content with recurring church calendar and programmatic-treadmill), and most recoil from the idea of resetting (fearful to embark upon a journey without complete control of future outcomes).


A truly trailblazing journey to explore and prepare for the future begins by asking questions that have potential to be:

•Life-changing for individuals who seek to fulfill their calling in Christ for where they live, learn, work, play

•Paradigm-shifting to the way leaders think about the Church gathered in worship and fellowship, and scattered on mission or in ministry 

•Ministry-transforming with a fresh perspective on building ministries on the basis of the unique Spirit-giftedness of the congregation and the glaring needs of the communities they are called to serve (for example "ER: Emergency Response" evangelism).


Whether you reformat, reboot, or reset, it is vital to ask: 

"What is the driving directive that will determine how we do what we do in order to reach our biblical  directives and objectives?"

"...and what is the best path for that journey?"



•Reformatting entails rearranging; repair, reposition, regroup

Reassess your priorities and the plans that drive the engine of life-church-ministry. Who is your "customer?" What fills the church schedule and how well does it serve key priorities? Where do you spend/send financial assets? Survey the lives of your people, and how your church schedule impacts their personal life, their time with family/friends, their participation in ministry. What fixes or changes does their feedback indicate? How well do you connect to your community?



•Rebooting provides recharging; a time-out to retreat, refocus, refresh

After preaching/teaching on Mission-Vision-Purpose, gather leadership in a retreat setting for prayer, reflection, interaction. Set aside a significant period of time for reflection across your congregation; each person, every ministry. Gather again for Spirit-led. prayer-fueled planning. What is your reputation in the community?



•Resetting requires reevaluating, repenting (change-the-way-you-think), reimagining, redesigning, restarting

A much deeper, wider and slower process. Decide if you and your leadership are change-makers prepared to be risk-takers. Invite prayer for an openness to the Spirit to inspire the congregation with faith and hope to reimagine the future as Christ-centered in worship and fellowship with a calling to ministry and the community. Invite leadership to consider a reset; a re-examination of Scripture that leads to a reapplication of biblical foundations and doctrines to our calling (Spirit-giftedness across the congregation/organization) and  our context (people who are lost, have less, lead social sectors). 


To reimagine your future church, identify how you see your congregation/organization in the future. An honest reality-check.


"We envision our church as" ...

•Status Quo

We will make  needed adjustments but remain protective of our standard styles  of worship (praise and prayer), systems  of leadership and discipleship, and schedules  for fellowship and stewardship (deploying our gifts and resources). 

#Rearrange #Repair #Restore * "We will be consistent ..."


•Status Grow 

We will focus on revitalizing the purpose of ministry programs and reviving the passion of ministry personnel. 

       #Revive #Refresh #Recommit  * "We will improve ..."


•Status “Go!” 

We will pursue a new course based on a new perspective on who we are (our gifts and ministry passion) and who  we are called to serve (their culture/tribe values, their questions about life, and how their communities function). 

       #Rethink #Revision #Renew * "We will be different ..."


Yes! Jesus is the answer. Church is the answer. Ministry is the answer. That is, if we know the QUESTion.



NEXT >>> What's The Question



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