By Jennifer Deibel

Recent research shows that more than 64 percent of Arizona Southern Baptist churches are either in plateau or decline, leaving pastors and church leaders searching for ways to break down the barriers to growth. While God does the revitalizing, the Revitalize conference, set for May 21 in Phoenix, can be the platform to facilitate the needed changes.

“God is in the restoring business,” said Keith Durham, Arizona Southern Baptists’ Church Revitalization Team leader. “The answer isn’t simply methodology or strategy, but it is a belief that God can restore any group of people if they humbly seek Him.”

Durham, pastor of First Baptist, Arizona City, encourages all pastors to take an unbiased look at their church growth over the last five years. If active church membership has stalled, or declined by 10 percent or more, he urges them to come to <i>Revitalize</i>, and to bring one or two key church leaders. There’s so much great content offered, you want to be able to maximize your exposure to the ideas and concepts, he said.

In its second year, Revitalize is offering an expanded format this year with four out-of-state leaders, as well as four leaders from within Arizona, offering their expertise. Breakout sessions will be led by various authorities in church revitalization, including Darwin Meighan from the Nevada Southern Baptist Convention, Kenneth Priest from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, Randy McWhorter from the California Southern Baptist Convention, and more.

Breakout session topics include Preaching for Revitalization, Developing a Strategic Process for Change, Practical Steps Toward Revitalization, and MY316 in Revitalization.

Keynote speaker Adam Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will also be leading a breakout session.

Revitalize will reenergize, renew and restore the pastor and leaders to believe that God is capable and able to use them to revitalize the church,” Durham said.

Registration is open through May 13. The cost of the conference is $25 for the first person and $5 for each additional person in your group.

Revitalize will take place at Foothills Baptist Church, Ahwatukee (15450 S. 21st St., Phoenix), Saturday, May 21, from 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Lunch is included in the registration price. To register, visit here.

Churches interested in knowing more about how to revitalize their church can contact Keith Durham or Keith Henry, Arizona Southern Baptists’ leadership facilitator.<p>