Remissioning: Revitalizing Congregations with a Renewed Sense of Purpose



In today’s rapidly changing world, many local congregations find themselves struggling to stay vibrant and relevant. Traditional methods of reengineering and revival often fall short of achieving long-term sustainability and spiritual rejuvenation. Enter remissioning—a concept introduced by Dr. Chris Backert that offers a transformative approach to church revitalization. Remissioning focuses on helping congregations rediscover and commit to God’s mission, fundamentally reorganizing church life around a divine purpose. This article explores the concept of remissioning, its principles, and its potential to bring renewed energy, passion, and clarity to local congregations.

Understanding Remissioning

The Concept of Remissioning

Remissioning is not about minor tweaks or miraculous interventions. Instead, it involves a profound reorientation of a church’s focus and activities towards a clear and compelling vision rooted in God’s mission. This approach calls for a deep commitment to aligning every aspect of church life—worship, outreach, discipleship, and community engagement—with the overarching goal of fulfilling God’s purposes in the world.

Dr. Chris Backert: The Visionary Behind Remissioning

Dr. Chris Backert is the driving force behind the remissioning movement. With a deep passion for church revitalization and a keen understanding of the challenges faced by modern congregations, Dr. Backert has dedicated his work to helping churches rediscover their divine calling. His approach is grounded in the belief that every church has a unique role to play in God’s mission and that realignment with this mission can lead to profound transformation.

The Need for Remissioning

Challenges Facing Modern Congregations

In an era marked by rapid societal changes and declining church attendance, many congregations find themselves struggling to remain relevant and impactful. Traditional methods of reengineering—focused on organizational efficiency—and revival—relying on miraculous intervention—often fail to address the deeper issues at play. Remissioning, however, offers a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of decline by realigning church activities with a clear sense of purpose.

The Promise of Remissioning

Remissioning holds the promise of a church bursting with renewed energy, passion, and a clear sense of purpose. By helping congregations rediscover their divine calling and commit to God’s mission, remissioning provides a pathway to revitalization that is both sustainable and spiritually enriching. This process not only benefits the church community but also enhances its impact on the broader society.

The Principles of Remissioning

Rediscovering God’s Mission

At the heart of remissioning is the process of rediscovering God’s mission. This involves a deliberate and prayerful exploration of the church’s calling, as revealed in Scripture and understood through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By seeking to understand God’s purposes for their community, congregations can gain clarity on their unique role in His mission.

Committing to Divine Purpose

Once a congregation has rediscovered its divine calling, the next step is to commit wholeheartedly to this purpose. This commitment requires a willingness to reorient all aspects of church life around the mission, including worship, discipleship, outreach, and community engagement. By placing God’s mission at the center of their activities, congregations can experience a renewed sense of direction and vitality.

Fundamental Reorganization

Remissioning involves a fundamental reorganization of church life to align with the rediscovered mission. This may require significant changes to existing structures, programs, and practices. It calls for a willingness to let go of traditions and habits that no longer serve the mission and to embrace new ways of doing things that better reflect the church’s divine calling.

The Process of Remissioning

Step 1: Prayerful Reflection and Discernment

The remissioning process begins with prayerful reflection and discernment. Congregations are encouraged to seek God’s guidance through prayer, Scripture reading, and communal discernment. This phase involves listening to the Holy Spirit and seeking clarity on the church’s unique calling and mission.

Step 2: Vision Casting and Goal Setting

Once the church has a clear sense of its divine calling, the next step is to cast a compelling vision that inspires and motivates the congregation. This vision should be rooted in God’s mission and reflect the church’s unique identity and purpose. Setting specific, measurable goals can help guide the congregation’s efforts and provide a roadmap for the journey ahead.

Step 3: Strategic Planning and Implementation

With a clear vision and goals in place, the next step is to develop a strategic plan for implementing the remissioning process. This plan should outline the specific actions, resources, and timelines needed to achieve the goals. It should also include a strategy for communicating the vision and engaging the congregation in the process.

Step 4: Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

Remissioning is an ongoing process that requires continuous evaluation and adaptation. Congregations are encouraged to regularly assess their progress, celebrate successes, and make adjustments as needed. This iterative approach allows the church to stay aligned with God’s mission and respond to changing circumstances and opportunities.

The Impact of Remissioning

Renewed Energy and Passion

One of the most significant benefits of remissioning is the renewed energy and passion it brings to congregational life. By aligning their activities with a clear and compelling mission, churches can experience a revitalization that energizes and motivates members. This renewed passion can lead to increased engagement, participation, and a deeper sense of community.

Enhanced Relevance and Impact

Remissioning also enhances a church’s relevance and impact in the broader community. By focusing on God’s mission and addressing the needs and challenges of the surrounding community, congregations can become more effective agents of change and transformation. This increased relevance can attract new members and strengthen the church’s witness in the world.

Sustainable Growth and Vitality

Unlike temporary fixes or superficial changes, remissioning offers a pathway to sustainable growth and vitality. By realigning church life with a clear sense of purpose, congregations can build a solid foundation for long-term health and flourishing. This sustainability ensures that the church can continue to fulfill its mission and impact future generations.

Practical Steps for Congregations Considering Remissioning

Step 1: Start with Prayer

Prayer is the foundation of the remissioning process. Congregations are encouraged to seek God’s guidance through individual and communal prayer. This spiritual foundation ensures that the process is grounded in God’s will and direction.

Step 2: Engage in Honest Reflection

Congregations should engage in honest reflection about their current state and the challenges they face. This reflection involves listening to the experiences and perspectives of church members and the broader community. By understanding the root causes of decline, churches can identify the areas that need transformation.

Step 3: Seek External Support

Remissioning can be a complex and challenging process. Seeking external support from consultants, coaches, or denominational resources can provide valuable guidance and expertise. External support can offer fresh perspectives, facilitate strategic planning, and provide accountability throughout the process.

Step 4: Foster a Culture of Openness and Innovation

Successful remissioning requires a culture of openness and innovation. Congregations should be willing to embrace change, experiment with new approaches, and learn from successes and failures. This culture of innovation encourages creativity and adaptability, ensuring that the church remains responsive to God’s leading.

Step 5: Communicate and Involve the Congregation

Effective communication is crucial for the success of the remissioning process. Congregational leaders should clearly communicate the vision, goals, and steps involved in remissioning. Involving the entire congregation in the process fosters a sense of ownership and collective commitment to the mission.

Conclusion: Embracing the Promise of Remissioning

Remissioning offers a transformative pathway for congregations seeking to rediscover their purpose and renew their vitality. By aligning church life with God’s mission, congregations can experience a profound reorientation that brings renewed energy, passion, and relevance. The stories of successful remissioning efforts highlight the potential for growth and impact when churches commit to this process.

Leave a Comment