Showing posts from January, 2023

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

10 Critical Barriers to Church Revitalization

 Below are ten critical barriers to church revitalization, with a generalized remedy for overcoming them. I would add that the primary cause of all these problems is a lack of Gospel focus. The path forward includes a prayer-filled, repentant, and singular focus on putting Christ and His Great Commission and Great Commandment front and center in the church’s life. 1.       Resistance to change : Many congregants may resist change, particularly if they have long-standing traditions or practices they are unwilling to let go of. The path to overcoming this resistance involves communicating the need for change and involving congregants in the process as much as possible. Further, the church—as a body—must learn to be flexible and open to new ideas and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances. 2.       Lack of vision and leadership: Without a clear vision and strong leadership, it can be challenging to bring about change and revitalization in a congregation. The church must devel

The Overturn of Roe v. Wade: A Lost Opportunity?

 Evangelicals, and the Republican politicians we support, have squandered a once-in-a-generation opportunity posed by the overturn of Roe v. Wade . First, let me lay my cards on the table. After all, this is my blog and my opinion. I believe that abortion is nothing short of murder—the murder of people who are the most voiceless and, perhaps, the most marginalized of our society. I will set aside the politics of how we came to have a Supreme Court that was brave enough to take on the “settled” matter of abortion in the Roe v. Wade precedent. The machinations behind Donald Trump’s nominees (especially in the matter of the death of Justice Scalia during the waning days of the Obama Administration) is undoubtedly a matter worthy of discussion, but one I will save for those more into partisanship than I am. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), the Supreme Court recognized that, contrary to the badly-decided 1973 Roe decision, the U.S. Constitution nowhere guarantees a