Ever want to kill your church?
Ever kill a church despite your best efforts?
Joel Rainey, the director of Missions at the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association suggests that these are the five ways that you are guaranteed to kill off your church (just in case you were wondering).
We’ve all seen churches implode. See if you agree that these are the main reasons, from a leader’s standpoint:
1. Perpetually send an unclear sound. Make sure that key leaders remain clueless, and divided, when it comes to the identity, purpose, vision, and direction of the church. Speak in spiritual euphemisms that seem holy, like “we just want to love Jesus and each other,” or “we just want to follow the Bible.”
2. Invest More Time in Needy People than in Leaders. You know the old saying; “The squeaky wheel gets the most grease.” In many local churches, those who “squeak” the loudest seem to get all the grease! And the grand mistake of church leaders is to give inordinate attention to the loudest and most needy people in the congregation, rather than invest in those God has gifted to lead the church.
3. Try to Please Everybody. Almost without exception, in every church I’ve ever consulted with that is in decline, decisions are never executed without the final question of “who will be upset by this?” Inevitably, good decisions are always sabotaged by someone suggesting that “doing this might really upset . . .[fill in the name of your preferred group.]” In fact, the one way to ensure that #1 above takes place, is to assume this posture, because you can’t make a clear decision about anything if the number one concern is always about someone not being pleased.
4. Refuse to Confront Troublemakers. Principled dissent is one thing. Saboteurs are an entirely different matter and in too many churches, they are allowed to run free and do what they please, no matter the negative impact they have on the rest of the body.
5. Seek to Live in the Past. Churches actually do this in a number of ways, the most obvious of which is to be highly suspicious of any sort of change. Music styles, architecture, structural paradigms, and cultural engagement in general are all evolving concepts, and if the church does not reflect the culture in which it finds itself in all these areas, the result is far worse than simply an unclear Gospel.
So… what do you think?
What is the major reason that so many churches are dying?