8 Warning Signs of the Most Common Factor in Declining Churches

August 22, 2014
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Podcast Episode #068


The most common factor found in declining churches is an inward focus. When a church is only focused on itself, it will begin to fight amongst itself. However, when it is outwardly focused the bickering usually ceases. Some highlights from this week’s show:

  • The true sign that a church is outwardly focused is that it is consistently doing things in the community.
  • Fighting at church business meetings hasn’t necessarily decreased. But the frequency of business meetings has.
  • Any time you lead, you’re going to be criticized. It comes with the territory.
  • I had a church member tell me “You are leading too many people to Christ. Our church is changing too much.”
  • What year is it in your church?
  • We should revere the past, but we should not worship the past.
  • Culture is not the enemy. It is an opportunity.

The eight specific warning signs we discuss are:

  1. There are very few attempts to minister to those in the community.
  2. Church business meetings become arguments over preferences and desires.
  3. Numbers of members in the congregation are openly critical of the pastor, other church staff, and lay leaders in the church.
  4. Any change necessary to become a Great Commission church is met with anger and resistance.
  5. The past becomes the hero.
  6. Culture is seen as the enemy instead of an opportunity for believers to become salt and light.
  7. Pastors and other leaders in the church become discouraged and withdraw from effective leadership.
  8. If the churches are a part of a denomination or similar affiliation, meetings of those denominations mirror the churches in lost focus and divisiveness.

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This week’s podcast is brought to you by Pastors Today. This weekly newsletter provides pastors with resources and information from around the web written specifically for pastors. For more information and to subscribe, visit lifeway.com/pastorstoday.

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