My Church is in Trouble!
I hope you read the previous blog: Signs that alert you that your church is in trouble. The article points out five signs that are often ignored which signal that the congregation is on the road to demise and often death. That is always tragic and no believer wants to see a congregation have to close the doors. What do you do if it is your church?
- Don’t ignore the signs. My sister and I would play hide and seek when I was a small boy. I would run to an adjoining room, stand against the wall, and cover my eyes. She would find me within seconds and say “I see you there.” I would reply, “No you can’t, I have my eyes closed!” Closing your eyes and ignoring the signs will not make them go away and will not bring your church back to health.
- Resist the impulse to blame. It is our pastor’s fault. We have deacons who won’t lead. Our members are apathetic. That may or may not be true. But calling people out will likely create anger, further frustration, and perhaps division. That is not to suggest that tough conversations will not need to take place at some point. But do not begin by assessing blame. Begin by evaluating yourself. What are you personally doing or failing to do that is contributing to the demise. Begin by looking at your role.
- Pray. No, I mean really pray. Describe the prayer ministry of your church. Offertory prayers, benedictions, and praying for Aunt Thelma’s forthcoming surgery are all commendable. But, have you been on your face and on your knees, not once, not twice, but frequently alone and with others asking God to show up in your congregation.
- Talk about the vision for the church. If you are not sure where you are going, how will you know if you ever get there? What do you want your church to be like five years and ten years from now? Are you doing the things that put you on the path that will take you there?
- Bring in a specialist. You need someone to take an objective look at your congregation. Sometimes you cannot see the flaws when you live in a situation day in and day out. Fresh eyes can assist in bringing clarity to the issues and someone with Godly wisdom and experience can help you see the path forward more clearly. A person with a heart problem will do well to consult with a heart specialist. Consider bringing a church health specialist to assist with evaluating and strategizing the best way forward.