Showing posts from January, 2022

Declining Churches Searching for the Silver Bullet Pastor

  The problem of declining churches in America was nothing new when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck in March 2020. I tend to ignore 2020 through 2022 when measuring whether a church has declined. But let’s be honest: if you look back to March 2020 and compare your attendance and financial giving back then to that of today, in March 2024, and both are lower, on average, by more than a few percent, your church has declined. If you had a children’s ministry before the pandemic, and you now struggle to wrangle up more than a few kids on a typical Sunday, you have declined. Your church needs revitalization. Sure, there are other, less tangible measures of health. How are you doing evangelistically? Are you reaching your neighborhood with the gospel? Are you making disciples? Maybe your church has already taken proactive steps in the direction of revitalization. Perhaps you’ve already decided to make some hard decisions rather than kicking the can down the road. If so, good on you! Sadl

The One Overarching Reason Churches Close their Doors

 I like to think of myself as a student of the root causes of the death of local churches and what it takes to turn around a congregation that’s on a death spiral before it winds up closing its doors. Dozens of books and articles seek to explain the ins and outs of church death and church revitalization. And while church deaths all have their own unique stories and individual circumstances leading up to the closure, there’s only one overarching reason a church closes its doors. That is because our Lord shut it down! What!? That’s right. The New Testament speaks only once of a church closing. Only once! That’s in Revelation, Chapter 2:1-7 (NASB, 2020), where we read: 1   “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: “ 2   I know your deeds and your labor and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people, and you have put those who call themselves apostles to