Why Churches Die by ACHUCKAllen
I realize that I am in the “church industry” but haven’t you ever wondered why some churches thrive and others seem to flounder, and over the course of time, die? Well, whether you’ve ever wondered that or not, here are my thoughts. Did you know that 400 plus churches close their doors for the last time every week? There are probably hundreds of reasons why churches die, but here are four. But, before you get into these four, let me offer one BIG reason why churches die – THEY ARE NOT REAL! I think you get that one without explanation.
After more than 30 years of church leadership and the past 8 years serving as a Lead Pastor I want to gently offer four reasons that churches die. By the way, my definition of a dead church is a church that could close it’s doors for good and their community not miss them for more than a nanosecond.
- Churches die when denominations are the central part of their culture, theology, missions and worship style. I offer this without malice or anger, but from having served in and around churches that are steeped in organizational quagmire. Every church must have a Heaven-sent mission that they are uniquely called to accomplish and hence qualified. Falling in step with offices and administrators that aren’t in the heart of the local church will lead to mission drift and remove the active and ongoing stories of the church being directed and lead by God Himself.
- Churches die when they are consumed with recruiting people to come in their doors but not equipped and motivated to go serve when they leave those same doors. Show me a church that is aggressively serving their community and I’ll show you a thriving church. It may not be the largest church in town, but it might have the largest heart in town. I’ll take a thriving heart over a well orchestrated production every single chance I get.
- Churches die when their leaders don’t know the people they are called to serve. The church can grow without relationships, but I doubt that it can thrive without relationships. I am of the opinion that in and around healthy churches, things start and stay as a result of meaningful relationships. A wise man once told me that if I wanted a long and successful career as a Pastor, then I should know people by their name and allow them to disagree with me. He was right!
- Churches die when they stop trying to engage culture with the compassion and passion of Jesus and His story of redemption. When churches decide that getting Jesus in the proper priority of peoples lives, then good things happen. People find hope, help and direction. It’s easy to chase after current culture and buzz phrases that sound “relevant.” See what I did right there? But honestly, you don’t have to guilt people into faith or service. Simply trust God to draw them…simply point folks in the right direction. He can do the rest.
There are indeed, hundreds of points I could have made, but these are the four that came to mind today. How is your church doing?