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Thom Rainer had a great post today about ten signs of an inwardly obsessed church. Here are some thoughts:
1. Worship Wars. Man, I remember trying to transition a traditional church to a contemporary one (at least worship style). It really WAS a war. And it’s still that way in many churches. When you make changes in worship, you can expect casualties. But if your church is STILL in the midst of a war over worship, it’s time to stop. Chances are at this point, you’re fighting a war with your own people. End that battle soon, or you’ll never reach out to who you’re really trying to reach.
2. Prolonged minutia meetings. Meetings are vision killers. If you’re in a church that has endless meetings about everything, I can almost guarantee you’re in a church that gets nothing accomplished.
3. Facility Focus. I was a part of a church (that was like many, I’m sure) that focused on the property committee and the finance committee. They ran the church. Everything was based on facility and finance. And little on outreach. (Although we said we were using our finances to better our facility so we could reach people. The truth is… that never happened).
4. Program driven. If your church is program driven, it’s a bloated mess. Programs are great, but they also breed inward-focus in most cases. Do yourself a favor and kill a program this week.
5. Inwardly focused budget. Look at your budget and divide it into two areas: inreach and outreach. How much is allotted to keeping your people happy and content?
6. Inordinate demands for pastoral care. The key word there is demand. Demanding things from your pastor or staff almost always connotes an inward focus. And when all you do is meet demands, there is no time to reach out.
7. Attitudes of Entitlement. When people start feeling entitled to things your church offers, you can kiss outreach goodbye. You’ll never be able to keep everyone happy.
8. Great concern about change than the gospel. If people are always griping about change, it takes your eye off the ball. When you’re putting out ‘change’ fires, it will distract you from outreach.
9. Anger and hostility. When 1-8 are happening in your church, people are harsh, judgmental, angry and hostile. That’s real inviting to the lost. (Actually, it’s not).
10. Evangelistic Apathy. When we’re consumed so much with ourselves, our needs, our comfort, and our need to control, evangelism is the last thing we’re thinking about.
So… how many of these ten things are problems in your church? And if you’ve solved any one of these… how did you do it?
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