Showing posts from July, 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

Are you becoming a "consumer" church member?

Today (July 25, 2022) Noted church consultant, Dr. Thom Rainer, writes today on  Eleven Signs You Are Becoming a Church Consumer Instead of a Committed Church Member .   When you look in the mirror, do any of the sign of the person in his article ?

A Fervent Plea for Church Revitalization

In my previous post, I spoke of ugly baby churches and the statistical likelihood that your church is an ugly baby. Sadly, most churches in America are ugly babies—plateaued at best or, more likely, in a death spiral after a decadal decline. In 2019 most statistics ventured that somewhere between 65 and 85 percent of churches were in a state of plateau or decline. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. By all indicators, most churches aren’t doing as well as before the pandemic—at least in worship attendance, programs, and finance. [1] In my previous post, I also said that, statistically , I am not optimistic that your church will do an about-face in its march down the road of decline. Such a turnaround involves changes and sacrifices that most churches are unwilling to make. Your church must staunch the bleeding and obediently return to the Great Commission call to make disciples and the Great Commandment mandate to love God and others. I can’t guarantee any church attempting a turnarou

The Ugly Babies of Church Revitalization

Your baby is ugly. I know; you don’t want to hear it, and I get it. We’re talking about your baby, for goodness sake. She’s not stunning. But you love her, and you’d defend her from anyone, wouldn’t you? Especially the guy who says she’s ugly. And I’m the guy who says she’s ugly. No, I’m not talking about your kids or grandchildren—I’m sure they’re gorgeous. I’m talking about your church. Your church is an ugly baby. Or, at least statistically speaking, your church is an ugly baby. Depending on the figures you look at, somewhere between 65 and 85 percent of churches are rather unattractive—ugly babies, at best, if not total dumpster fires. And these are "pre-COVID" numbers. Over the last year and a half, I’ve seen it for myself in many geographical areas. Your church is far less welcoming than you think, and your congregation is inwardly focused. Sure, you support “global missions,” but your church has delegated spreading the Gospel to the “professionals.” You