October 15, 2009

New vs. Renew

I know this is a question that has been around for a long time. Is it better to start something new or attempt to renew something that has been going for a while? Whether it's a brand, a business, a ministry...it's a tough call to know when to scrap something and start over or when there is enough of a foundation in place that renewal is the way to go.

I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately as I hear about more and more new churches that are starting when there are a large number of churches that currently exist but are dieing. Hence the question, is it better to start something new or attempt to renew it? I can see value in both but I wonder when is one approach better than the other especially when it takes so many resources to build and start something from scratch. Where is the line between fulfilling the mission of the Church and filling our egos? Is the reason that it is "easier" to start a new church/ministry rather than renew an already existing one enough?

I certainly do not claim to have the answers as I can clearly see how both options could be viable but I do believe we need to be checking our motives as we ask ourselves this very basic question. I also understand that each situation/church/ministry is different and can be unique but it seems like the general philosophy of people (church leaders) is to opt for the 'new' option over the 'renew' one. I'm not saying this is necessarily wrong but I'm not convinced it is necessarily right either.

So, what do you think...whether you are a church leader, pastor, someone who attends church regularly or not at all, what makes the decision for you to go New or Renew?