You may have already read these, but according to Barna, 3500-4000 churches close their doors every year… AND recently the Christian Chronicle just published a report saying that in the past nine years that church attendance has dropped by more than 100,000.
Just a few days ago I visited with a man that was very concerned about the church where he was attending. His exact words were, “We’re dying and the sad things is … some don’t care, and the others don’t know what to do about it!” He and I got to talking about some of the signs they were seeing that pointed to their church dying out. We made quite a list, and of course a few were tongue-in-cheek. I thought I might share a few with you today. Of course I’m no church growth expert, but I’d bet that most are generally true. So, here are “17 Signs your Church may be Dying.”
- If your church does nothing to reach the community where it is located.
- If your church believes doing church is something that takes place inside the walls of the building on Sundays and Wednesdays … instead of outside the walls in the community during the week.
- If your church’s sermons are issue oriented or not relevant, instead of being relationship centered and Jesus focused.
- If your church is afraid of change, making changes and taking risks.
- If the only thing your community knows about your church is where it’s located.
- If the only thing that seems alive in your worship service is the greenery at the front of the auditorium.
- If the song you sing most on Sundays is, “Tis so sweet to Rust in Jesus,” or something close to it.
- If your worship is quiet because there are no children.
- If the only new members that are ever added to your church are people who have moved into the area … instead of people from your community.
- If your church is content with just keeping its heads above the water.
- If your church is out of touch with the current generation.
- If your church’s leadership’s motto is, “But we’ve never done it that way before.”
- If your church has money in the bank that could be used to reach the lost and serve the poor, but it’s being saved for a rainy day or an emergency.
- If your church’s biggest fear is criticism.
- If your church’s leadership doesn’t set the tone, and is more concerned with supporting the system than shepherding the people.
- If your church promotes outreach as an option and not a necessity.
- If your church lives in the past not in the present.
Honestly … It makes me sad that the topic of churches dying is even a topic that is trending…