Your church could be in decline.
A troubling thought, isn’t it?
You’re working so hard on this week’s sermon, but you can’t help wondering if you’ll be preaching to empty pews.
According to Thom Rainer, 94 percent of churches are losing ground. Could you be one of them?
And the problem is, you know something is missing but you have no clue what it is, let alone how to fix it.
You’ve got so many questions.
Is your church effective? Are people growing spiritually? Why are offerings down? Why is it so hard to get people to volunteer? Outreach, after outreach, but it feels like your efforts are fruitless! Is your church doing well or are we in a decline?
So instead of guessing, here’s a list of 21 signs that your church is in decline.
(7 are listed below the other 14 can be downloaded in my free ebook, click here to download.)
1. Dilapidated Building:
Your building is an outside representation of what’s happening on the inside of your church. When guests see your building, they automatically judge the quality of your church based on the appearance and functionality of your building. Fair or unfair, unfortunately you can’t make a second first impression.
2. No First Time Visitors:
If you are not getting first time visitors, you will eventually start seeing a decline in your numbers. By not adding new visitors, you will only be maintaining the members you do have. Eventually members will leave or pass away, which will result in a decline in attendance. You need to create a culture of evangelism, click here to discover how.
3. Your church has ADHD (Attention Deficiency Disorder):
Don’t be offended, but stop being Omnipresent. You cannot be everywhere or do everything well. It is impossible. If you are busy doing everything, serving everyone, then you lack clarity. So take some time, and gain focus. Learn to discern good opportunities from God opportunities. If you are busy doing what’s good, you’ll be too busy to do what has God ordained. If you need more help with this, then check out this article on doing less.
4. The Great Omission instead of the Great Commission
If you do not have a culture of evangelism, your growth will be stifled. Yes, because you’re not reaching new people. But also because your church has missed the heart of God (John 3:16). Want help creating a culture of evangelism? – Here is a $10 resource that will absolutely help.
5. No Young Blood:
I did a conference in a church in Liverpool. The church there had no young pool. No young families. The average age was 60 years old. Forgive my frankness, but the congregation would not grow in numbers and eventually would all pass away. The problem? There was no room for young people because they were seen as a nuisance, the Senior Pastor had no vision for them. Remember Moses lead the people through the desert, but Joshua lead the people into the promised land. Every Moses (that’s you) should be leading a Joshua (that’s your young people).
6. Financial Decline:
The reason so many churches are in financial decline is because we don’t teach a theology of generosity. We have a plan for spending money (that’s call a budget), but we don’t have a plan for acquiring the resources. You’ve got to teach people to give. Then you’ve got to pray generosity into the hearts of your congregation. Will there be moments when the resources don’t add up? Of course. That’s ministry and ministry requires faith, but too constantly be in decline is an issue that needs to be resolved, cut expenses and challenge people to give.
7. No Prayer:
“The Pastor who is not praying is playing”, Leonard Ravenhill. If your church is not praying, you are missing out on the power of God being active on your behalf. You are missing out on an opportunity to unify the church over a prayer request – imagine 50 people all praying for a financial breakthrough, a church member who is in the hospital, or for revival. Consider starting a prayer meeting. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just get 5 leaders in a room and ask them to pray for some needs.
There are 14 additional signs that indicate if your church is in decline.
Click below to download the free eBook.
If you checked two or more in this list your church may be in a decline.
It’s hard to see because churches decline at the rate icebergs melt. Yes, that slowly. Recently I heard a preacher talk about the “overtime – all of sudden principle.” He said over time you don’t eat well, all of a sudden you had a heart attack. Or over time you neglected your spouse, all of a sudden you’re getting divorced.
The principle is true for churches, overtime you neglect the 21 signs (click here to download the other 14), all of the sudden your church is in a decline.
Our mission is so important, our calling is so critical that I want to encourage you to take these 21 signs and talk to your leadership team about them. Ask your wife about it, bounce it off your elders, talk to members about them, but do everything you can to identify and rectify these signs.
I’ve identified 21 signs that your church is in decline. In the comments section below let me know how you are counteracting these 21 signs.