FREDERICKSBURG, VA  A few weeks ago I had the chance to witness a historic moment in the life of a church that was all but dead months earlier. The church sat at the end of a residential, dead-end street that was hard to find even if you were looking for it! The Restart Pastor, Chris Davenport, had invited me to speak with the members of the church who would be the launch team of a new church. Months before, the church had asked The Donelson Fellowship (TDF) Church in Nashville, TN to come and help.

After I spoke that night, Tommy Swindoll, the Pastor of TDF was there to announce some big changes.  The church would be named “The Bridge,” would go through a retraining period, and would relaunch in a nearby school in a very visible area. That defining moment came after months of planning and coaching from one of our restart cohorts. Chris had worked with the remnant group through the “Dying to Restart” book and all but a few members decided to stay and be a part of the new effort. Tommy and Chris are incredible leaders. Our role in coaching is simply to come alongside leaders and let them know what we have learned about restarting from personal experience and from others who have gone through the process. They both had had a front seat view to the launch of two other healthy restarts in Indiana and Washington state in their coaching cohort.

After the plans were verbalized that evening in VA, I held my breath and prayed. And then it became obvious that God had been at work. Even with some difficult changes ahead, I saw excitement and energy emerging.  Members began to express their desire to do whatever it takes to reach their city for Christ. It was a holy moment.  I was just thankful to be there and witness it. It was a moment that I hope to see happen in thousands of dying churches across the country.  Maybe that moment will happen in your church. – Dan Turner

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