The Difference between a “Can Do” Church and a “Can’t Do” Church

Every church has an organizational culture. Some churches have a culture of optimism. You can feel the energy in worship. Others are pessimistic. You can sense the deadness when you walk into the sanctuary.

Every church also faces obstacles. What is the difference between churches that approach obstacles with a “can do” attitude over others that have a “can’t do” attitude? What makes a church have a lively optimism over a dead pessimism? 

We’re the right size. The people of the “can’t do” congregation believe the church is too small (or large) to accomplish something. The “can do” church is always the right size. Church size is not an issue for an optimistic church. 

We have the right people. The “can’t do” church sees the people it doesn’t have as a problem. The “can do” church sees the people it has as an opportunity. 

It’s always the right time. The “can’t do” church is stuck in the past or asleep dreaming about the future. The “can do” church believes now is the time to act.

We have the right staff. The “can’t do” congregation believes it must get staffing correctly aligned before ministry can be accomplished. The “can do” congregation doesn’t ignore needed staffing changes but also keeps moving forward with whatever staff is in place.

We have the exact resources God wants us to have.  The “can’t do” church believes more money is needed. The “can do” church does ministry with whatever resources God has provided.

The “can’t do” church views insufficiencies as an obstacle. The “can do” church believes in the sufficiency of God. When a culture of pessimism lingers, the walking spiritually dead take over. With a culture of optimism, however, churches maintain a “can do” attitude that champions the gospel.

Posted on October 28, 2020

As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
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  • Thanks for this article. Perfect timing, our church is in transition and praying for resolve on many of these issues.

  • Robin G Jordan says on

    The mantra of the “can’t do” church is “We tried that. It doesn’t work.” However, if you inquire further, you will discover that the church didn’t understand what it was doing, was only half-heartedly doing it because the pastor wanted to do it, and didn’t devote enough time to doing it for it to work properly, much less succeed. “Can’t do” churches might be better described as “Won’t do.” They are kind of like two and three year olds. Won’t budge. Puff up their little faces and have a temper tantrum. If you are firm and consistent with small children, you can socialize them. On the other hand “won’t do” churches will get rid of you one way or another.

  • Amen! It’s like church don’t tell me what you can’t do , tell me what you can do!

  • Youssef Eric says on

    Thank you so much for your introduction.
    Can or Can’t.
    People around us are dying and we are busy so far away from the real goal of the church charing the gospel with non-believers.
    And creating an real atmosphere to receive them.
    Church is never building and staff.
    But mission of the group of the believers and the impact of our Christian life between others

  • Frank Johnson says on

    Thank you for this timely and at once convicting and encouraging word.

  • Thing is you are a can’t do people because your Baptist nowhere in the Bible does God want a Baptist to be a church John the Baptist always pointed to Christ that’s why it’s the church of Christ not a Baptist so you people are can’t do people because God doesn’t authorize your teaching

  • Very Timely for many of us as we try to navigate the COVID Church. We “can do” all things through Christ who strengths us.