Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Why Your Church is Dying

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Refusing to adapt to your surroundings – We live in a rapidly changing society. A neighborhood can drastically change in as little as ten years. If a congregation was established fifty years ago, it is certain the area it serves is quite different from when it was established. This is inevitable and congregations must decide whether they will adapt or die. Will a congregation that was first established to serve upper middle class people adapt to serve the poor and homeless as the area they are located changes? Questions like these must be considered if congregations want to survive.

Allowing the walls of your church to become a fortress – Buildings are nice but they can also be the death of a congregation. A church can become so consumed with its own members that it fails to reach out to its neighbors. The vision of an inward focused church is all about what happens inside the church building. Churches with this mindset can do well for many years, but eventually they will experience the graying of the flock. As the congregation grows older, it will be more difficult to reach out to singles and young families. Decisions made years earlier will lead to the decline of the congregation.

Making it difficult on seekers – An important discussion takes place in Acts 15 regarding what to do about Gentiles who are converting to Christianity. One of the most significant conclusions comes in verse 19 when James says, “we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God.” All churches need to heed this advice. If churches are not careful, they can create unspoken rules that turn people away. We never want to send the impression that you have to dress a certain way or belong to a certain social class in order to feel welcome at a congregation. We need to make sure we are not requiring more than God requires when it comes to becoming a Christian.

Becoming comfortable with the status quo – Some churches shrink because they get comfortable. Perhaps, many of the members have been Christians for years. They show up to worship and that is it. They don’t want anything to change. They don’t want anyone to disrupt their routine. They like things how they are and they will do whatever they can to protect it. They don’t want to be challenged. They don’t want to start a new ministry. They are a dying church. They just don’t know it yet.

Lack of passion – Life is hard and sometimes people are simply tired and weary. They have tried evangelism before. They have volunteered for more VBS’s than the number of years you have been alive. They have been a part of numerous food programs and friend’s days. It’s all been done before and the drive is all gone. They wouldn’t mind seeing the church grow but there is no passion. We can all understand the challenges life brings, but we must not grow weary in doing the Lord’s work. 

Lead by fear rather than faith – A church will only grow if its leaders lead by faith. Leading by fear will quickly kill a church. Fear cripples. Inaction is often the result of fear. Leaders refuse to do anything or try anything because they are afraid. They may be afraid of failure. They may be afraid of new members and the changes they bring. Growth always creates challenges. Faithful leaders will embrace the challenges. Fearful leaders will find ways to sabotage growth. 

Thinking people will find you – If your growth plan is waiting on people to find you, then you need a new growth plan. Not only is it a terrible plan, it is not the model we find in Scripture. We are called to go. We must reach out to people. We must be proactive. We cannot expect people to find us.

Caring more about traditions than people – Every church has traditions. There is nothing wrong with traditions. In fact, it is impossible to be a church without them. What Jesus condemns in Scripture is our attitude towards traditions. When we value traditions more than people, we are doomed. Sometimes it is necessary to alter a tradition or even get rid of it in order to better reach the people around us. This is not easy because we grow fond of our traditions, but it is an essential attitude for Christians. People are always to be valued over traditions.

One Response to “Why Your Church is Dying”

  1. Real, true Christian’s open theirs arms & hearts to everyone
    .Bigotry is not the way of a true Christian.
    You cannot call yourself a Christian if you only accept certain people.


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