Understanding Remissioning: Revitalizing Congregations for God’s Mission



Imagine a church bursting with renewed energy, passion, and a clear sense of purpose. This is the promise of remissioning. In an era where many congregations struggle to stay vibrant and relevant, remissioning offers a pathway to revitalization by realigning with God’s mission. Let’s dive into what remissioning is, why it’s essential, and how it can transform churches today.

The Concept of Remissioning

Remissioning, a term coined by Dr. Chris Backert, focuses on rejuvenating local congregations by helping them rediscover and commit to God’s mission. Unlike reengineering, which tweaks existing systems, or revival, which depends on miraculous intervention, remissioning is about a fundamental reorganization of church life around a divine purpose.

The Need for Remissioning in Modern Churches

Modern churches face numerous challenges, from dwindling attendance to societal shifts that question traditional values. Remissioning addresses these issues by refocusing efforts on the core mission of the church – to serve and spread God’s word. This approach not only revitalizes the congregation but also re-engages the community.

Key Principles of Remissioning

Central Focus on God’s Mission: The heart of remissioning lies in making God’s mission the central principle of all church activities and decisions.

Community Involvement and Engagement: Engaging with the local community is crucial. This involves understanding their needs and finding ways to serve them effectively.

Leadership and Vision: Strong, visionary leadership is essential. Leaders must be committed to the process and capable of inspiring the congregation to embrace change.

The Remissioning Process

Initial Assessment and Goal Setting: Start by assessing the current state of the congregation. Identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas that need improvement. Set clear, mission-centric goals.

Developing a Mission-Centric Plan: Create a detailed plan that outlines steps to achieve the set goals. This plan should include strategies for outreach, community engagement, and internal growth

Implementation and Monitoring: Once the plan is developed, it’s time to put it into action. This phase involves executing the outlined strategies, continuously monitoring progress, and making necessary adjustments to stay on track.

The Role of Leadership in Remissioning

Importance of Strong Leadership: Effective remissioning requires leaders who are not only visionary but also skilled in communication and project management. They need to inspire trust and enthusiasm within the congregation.

Training and Equipping Leaders: Investing in leadership development is crucial. This can involve training sessions, workshops, and mentorship programs to ensure leaders are well-equipped to guide the remissioning process.

Encouraging Congregational Buy-In: For remissioning to succeed, it’s essential to gain the support and involvement of the entire congregation. Leaders should actively engage members, listen to their input, and involve them in decision-making processes.

Community Engagement and Outreach

Building Connections with the Local Community: Understanding and addressing the needs of the local community is a cornerstone of remissioning. This involves conducting surveys, holding community meetings, and forming partnerships with local organizations.

Outreach Programs and Initiatives: Implementing programs that serve the community can significantly boost the church’s impact. Examples include food banks, educational workshops, health clinics, and social events.

Measuring Impact and Effectiveness: To ensure that outreach efforts are effective, it’s important to track participation rates, gather feedback, and assess the overall impact on the community. This data can help refine strategies and improve future initiatives.

Overcoming Challenges in Remissioning

Common Obstacles and How to Address Them: Resistance to change is a common challenge. Overcoming it involves clear communication, demonstrating the benefits of remissioning, and involving members in the process. Other obstacles include limited resources and burnout, which can be mitigated by setting realistic goals, seeking external support, and fostering a supportive community culture.

Maintaining Momentum and Avoiding Burnout: Remissioning is a long-term process that requires sustained effort. Regularly celebrating small victories, providing ongoing support, and ensuring that leaders and volunteers take breaks can help maintain momentum and prevent burnout.

The Spiritual Aspect of Remissioning

Fostering a Deeper Relationship with God: At its core, remissioning is about deepening the congregation’s relationship with God. This involves encouraging regular prayer, Bible study, and spiritual reflection.

Encouraging Spiritual Growth Within the Congregation: Promoting activities that nurture spiritual growth, such as retreats, faith-based workshops, and mentorship programs, helps members develop a stronger, more personal connection to their faith.

Practical Steps for Congregations Considering Remissioning

Assessing Readiness for Change: Before starting the remissioning process, it’s important to gauge the congregation’s readiness. This involves assessing the current state of the church, the willingness of members to embrace change, and the availability of resources.

Finding the Right Resources and Support: External support, such as consultants, training programs, and partnerships with other churches, can provide valuable guidance and resources.

Steps to Start the Remissioning Journey: Begin with a clear vision and a committed leadership team. Engage the congregation through open communication and inclusive decision-making. Develop a mission-centric plan, implement it with flexibility, and continuously monitor progress.

The Impact of Remissioning on Congregations

Enhanced Sense of Purpose and Mission: Congregations that undergo remissioning often experience a renewed sense of purpose and direction. This clear focus can lead to increased motivation and engagement among members.

Growth in Membership and Participation: By aligning with the community’s needs and focusing on mission-driven activities, churches can attract new members and increase participation from existing members.

Long-Term Sustainability and Success: A mission-focused approach helps congregations build a solid foundation for long-term sustainability. This includes financial stability, strong leadership, and an engaged, active membership.

Testimonials from Congregations

Personal Stories of Transformation: Many congregations have shared their success stories, highlighting how remissioning has transformed their church. These testimonials often emphasize increased community involvement, stronger relationships among members, and a deeper connection to their faith.

Lessons Learned from the Remissioning Process: Key lessons from successful remissioning efforts include the importance of flexibility, the value of strong leadership, and the power of community engagement. These insights can guide other congregations on their remissioning journey.


Remissionin’g offers a powerful pathway for congregations seeking to revitalize and align more closely with God’s mission. By focusing on community engagement, strong leadership, and a clear sense of purpose, churches can experience renewed energy and growth. Whether facing declining membership or seeking a deeper connection with the community, remissionin’g provides practical steps and inspiring examples to guide the way.

Leave a Comment