Church Renewal (Revitalization)

Photo by Erik M. Lunsford/The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Revitalization (also called church renewal) addresses the needs of congregations that have plateaued or are in decline. Nearly 80% of LCMS congregations are experiencing stagnate membership and attendance (i.e., plateaued) or have seen a decrease in membership and attendance (i.e., are declining). Revitalization resources are available to LCMS congregations at little to no cost through re:Vitality.

The name re:Vitality underscores the focus of this suite of resources – “re:” is an abbreviation for “regarding” and “vitality” is a word for “life.” re:Vitality is centered in the understanding that wherever God’s Word is proclaimed in purity and His Sacraments are rightly administered there is life. The vitality of a congregation is found only in the Means of Grace shared through Word and Sacrament ministry. The systems that support and enable congregations to carry out Word and Sacrament ministry have to do with the congregation’s viability rather than its vitality. re:Vitalty addresses those systems to help congregations to continue, improve, and expand how they are sharing the life that comes through Christ alone.


Resources Available

re:Vitality Resources

The LCMS Office of National Mission provides revitalization resources through re:Vitality. re:Vitality is a suite of resources that assist and equip congregational leaders and members for accessing the state of their congregation and addressing the factors driving it.

CADDS (Congregational Assessment of Development/Decline Status) is a self-assessment tool used by the congregation to determine its current status. Using a 95-question survey completed by all interested people in the congregation, CADDS provides a single page, graphical report that identifies the overall status of the congregation and the impact that 10 factors are having on that status. Using the CADDS report as a guide, congregational leaders select re:Vitality training modules that focus on the factors that are having a negative impact on the congregation’s status.

re:Vitality training resources currently include:

  • Connect To Disciple for improving the effectiveness of the congregation’s outreach to the nonchurched people in its community.
  • Shepherding Our Strays for planning and implementing an approach to reengage inactive members with the care and compassion of Christ.
  • Serving in God’s Mission for developing an effective and executable strategic ministry plan using a consensus-based approach for discerning God’s vision, purpose, and mission for the congregation.

re:Vitality resources are available through the LCMS Office of National Mission by emailing

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