I first heard of Andrew Davis about 8 years ago when I stumbled across his guide to extended Scripture memory. I knew very little of him then, but I was greatly helped by this excellent resource. Then, a few years ago, I read Davis’ book on discipleship and sanctification — An Infinite Journey. After greatly enjoying this book, I decided to learn a bit more about the man.
Who Is Andrew Davis?
Davis is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Durham, NC, a church that he has now pastored for almost 20 years. Though FBC Durham is currently a healthy and vibrant church, this was not always the case. In fact, when Davis accepted the call to pastor FBC Durham in 1998, the congregation was far from healthy. How did this church move from point A to point B? How did God use Andrew Davis to bring life and revitalization into a dying congregation?
A New Book
That story, and the principles learned, is the subject of Davis’ newest book: Revitalize: Biblical Keys to Helping Your Church Come Alive Again. Through the experiences and lessons learned by Davis over the last 20 years, God has given him a heart for churches, church leaders, and pastors who are in need of biblical help and practical resources in revitalizing a dying church.
After a couple of introductory chapters stressing the importance of the local church and the care that Christ has for the health and vitality of His church, Davis dives right into 14 lessons that he sees as essential (and biblical) in any church revitalization:
- Embrace Christ’s Ownership of the Church
- Be Holy
- Rely on God, Not on Yourself
- Rely on God’s Word, Not on Techniques
- Saturate the Church in Prayer
- Cast a Clear Vision
- Be Humble toward Opponents
- Be Courageous
- Be Patient
- Be Discerning
- Wage War against Discouragement
- Develop and Establish Men as Leaders
- Become Supple on Worship
- Embrace the Two Journeys of Disciple-Making
In every one of these 14 chapters, each focusing on a different essential of church revitalization, Davis gives biblical support, practical suggestions, and personal illustrations of how He learned this principle in his time at FBC Durham. In each of these chapters, you will find biblically and theologically sound practical challenges and advise as it relates to church revitalization.
Why I Love This Book
In his foreword to the book, Mark Dever gives several reasons for why he likes this book. I couldn’t agree more, nor could I articulate it as well as Dever, so here are his reasons:
- This book exalts God
- This book is biblically and theologically sound and historically informed
- This book is instructive
- This book’s author understands both what the gospel is and what a church is
- This book is practical
- This book will help pastors
Amen and Amen.
If you are a pastor, church leader, elder, training for ministry, or a member of a church in need of revitalization, you will find this book to be an excellent and indispensable resource for the task that lay ahead of you. Though I do not have the privilege of knowing Andrew Davis personally, I am incredibly thankful for him and how the Lord has chosen to use him for His glory through the revitalization of FBC Durham. Now, through this resource, Davis has given the Church a wonderful resource to help pastors and churches across the country and the world turn to God and His Word for the health of their local church in order to bring glory and honor to the head of the church — Jesus Christ.
If you’re interested in additional resources concerning Davis and his new book, check out the links below
Thom Rainer interviews Davis on Church Revitalization
Servants of Grace interview with Davis
SBTS article about the FBC Durham Revitalization
9Marks interview with Davis
In accordance with FTC regulations I would like to thank Baker Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.