What will stop church growth?
There are many congregations that will close their doors this coming Sunday. Those congregations most likely have been in decline for some time. There can be many reasons that are given for the decline and closing of a church, but there are some underlying reasons that are shared by each of these congregations. These reasons are no secrets, and they are evident to anyone who is willing to take a good look. Many churches suffer decline and eventual death but here are some of the strongest reasons.
1. A Lost Vision
One of the first reason churches or any organization will experience decline is because “vision” has been lost. Maintaining the programs and the systems of the organization mean more to the fellowship than the overall vision for the church. What exactly is “vision?” Vision can be explained in various ways. It can be
- an experience of seeing someone or something in a dream
- a supernatural apparition
- a vivid mental image
- an image of the future
- a sight of unusual beauty
When a clear vision has been lost, purpose becomes non-existent. Vision must have a purpose, and a purpose must have a vibrant and clear vision. A congregation without “a vision” can expect a very short life span. Even if the church is 100 years old, it cannot thrive if “the vision” for that fellowship has been lost.
2. Lack of Purpose
When there is no vision, there is no purpose. If there is no life in the team, the death of the organization is inevitable. If there is no purpose, there is no strategy. The purpose of an organization can be lost because there is no driving conviction relating to a plan. So, without a vision and a purpose, there is no need to try and develop any plan for the future.
3. Suppressed Strategy
If there is no strategy, there is no life in the church team. When “vision” becomes non-existent, purpose and plan are suppressed. There is very little reason to expect anything to be accomplished because there is no plan in place. Strategies are like the playbook of a professional sports team. The playbook points the way. It explains what is the desired outcome. When plans are non-existent or suppressed, the life of the organization dies. Life for any team, especially churches and congregations, calls for movement. The movement calls for strategies to be in place. Without a strategic plan stagnation and death is a certainty. The best strategy plans for any New Testament congregation is found in the New Testament book of Acts and the teachings of Jesus within the Gospels.
In a Nutshell:
The three reasons many congregations are suffering from deadly decline and face a bleak future is due to their
- LOST VISION
- LACK OF PURPOSE
- SUPPRESSED STRATEGY
How is your fellowship doing?
Do you see any of these three characteristics in your fellowship that will stop church growth?
Does your fellowship have a vision, a purpose, and a strategy?