I have been in church since I was a baby. Growing up in the southern United States introduced me to a strong heritage of Christianity. I have seen healthy, growing fellowships and I have seen congregations that have closed their doors and sold their property.
What kills a congregation?
Here are ten things that will kill any congregation. The tragedy is that only one of these needs to be taking place to destroy a Christian fellowship. As you look over this list, how do you think your church is doing?
When Jesus is Not Lord
When Jesus in not Lord of a fellowship, there is very little hope. The New Testament tells about the role of Jesus in the church and the role of everyone else. The Bible is very clear as to the lordship of Jesus:
- He is the foundation for all believers: “Jesus Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).
- Through Jesus Christ, sin and death were conquered on the Cross (1 Corinthians 15:45).
- Those who have received the free gift of salvation through Christ should respond with love and a desire to obey God’s commandments (Ephesians 5:1–2).
When Jesus is Lord, there is a completely different atmosphere. When Christ is not Lord, there is a completely different atmosphere. The lacking of the lordship of Christ will destroy any fellowship
When the Holy Spirit is Never Called Upon
On the Day of Pentecost, the early followers of Jesus were sitting in a room together praying that the Lord would do something, anything! As they were praying the Holy Spirit came into the place they were sitting and empowered them to do that which they were incapable of doing on their own.
Many churches fail because they do not call upon the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is never called upon be assured, nothing is going to take place.
When God, the Father, is Not Seen as the One Who “Runs the Church”
Many years ago I was introducing myself to someone and in the conversation I told them about the church I pastored. Their response was, “Oh yeah, that is the church that Mr. Smith runs.” (Mr. Smith is not his real name.) My response was quick. “No, that is not the church that Mr. Smith runs, that church belongs to the Lord.” Even though my response was quick and right on target, this was the man’s next response. “Yeah, sure.”
This comment opened my eyes to this next point. Continue reading