The Historic Davenport Hotel was one of the most opulent, incredible hotels in the world. When it opened in 1914 it hosted and entertained presidents, Hollywood A-listers and the business elite. But in 1985 it had fallen into disrepair and the last guess left and the doors were closed. The grand Davenport went dark.
Losing relevance is the death of any organization, especially the Church. One day the demographics shift, the Gospel wanes, or the leaders fail to pursue the spiritual needs of their people. Or worse yet, the leaders fail to realize that everything has changed around them… and soon, the doors close.
But all is not lost.
In 2000 a great restoration of this Historic Davenport Hotel began. The heart and soul of the building, the plumbing, electrical, and all the inner workings needed to be ripped out and replaced, but, the beauty that was found there, like the ornate hand gilded beams, the statuary, the furniture and ceilings had to be painstakingly and tenderly, restored.
Knowing what to rip out and what to painstakingly restore is the key to organizational restoration and it’s sometimes an art, not a science.
What a huge lesson for the Replanting Church Planter to learn. To rebirth a church, you literally may have to rip out and replace the antiquated systems that allowed it to die, Opening it up and examining the inner structures is just the first step. As the leader, you must do so without harming the beauty of what was once there. Remember, there was once excellence in her DNA. Find it. Then, painstakingly restore the hidden greatness of what the organization once was.
If you can restore the beauty of what once was, and modernize the systems without changing the gospel message, your Replant can once again be grand and more importantly God Pleasing.
Here’s a quick video I shot in the second-floor showcase of the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane Washington.