How is an unstoppable movement of transformational churches started that can alter the spiritual landscape of cities in North American and across the globe? This dissertation is aimed at answering this question, ‘What has New Life Community Church learned from restarting urban churches in Chicago that can be leveraged to help other pastors?’ To answer this question several key issues had to be included in this discussion:
1. The growing need in the urban American landscape for healthy churches to restart declining historical congregations.
2. Restoration and renewal as key biblical concepts that fuel the theology of restarting churches.
3. Rapid multiplication movements that can only be sustained by leaders that effectively reproduce other leaders with similar spiritual DNA.
4. A kingdom of God non-colonial approach to restarts that will ensure a win-win scenario for the Gospel and cities.
5. Valuing and honoring the history of sacred places key to the integrity of a healthy restart.
6. Pastor/leaders that give away power and equip indigenous leaders to fuel multiplying movements.
Each of these issues have been researched and explored through literature, interviews, personal experience, and surveys. Most of the population of the world now lives in urban centers. It paramount that we see rapidly multiplying churches that are urban, multiethnic and transformational in nature spreading throughout our nation. As new churches are being planted the great number of historic churches that need to be restarted cannot be ignored. Planting the new and restarting the old must become an intricate part of the way the church in the west moves forward.