5 Things That May Be Destroying Your Church

steepleI can give you names of people who silently suffer because of what is happening in their church. These people are pastors, leaders, and regular attenders. They feel like the walls are crumbling around them, and that many are abandoning the mission of what God has collectively called their congregation to accomplish. For some, these things aren’t a big deal. Some worship at a local congregation, and never really see the decline. They may be people who simply go to church because their spouses make them, or they consider it a sporadic hobby that keeps their parents happy. The truth is God wants your church to flourish, and to come back to your “first love” as described in the book of Revelation.

We are all humans. We all have similar experiences and hurts. With this being said I think, if we were to be brutally honest with ourselves, we would see that there are specific things that are happening in our churches that may be destroying them. All churches have their unique personalities, and sometimes the issue lies in the leadership, and other times it is found in the apathy of the membership. Today, I want to talk about 5 things that may be destroying your church. Beware…

Disclaimer: Overall, sin is what is wearing away at the fabric of our churches, but these are things that are often unseen. Also, there are obviously many others that could fit here. 

1. Competitive Mentalities– As church leaders and attenders, we HAVE to stop thinking we are somehow competing with the church down the street. We are not dealing with a fast food franchise or a vicious enemy. We are talking about other brothers and sisters working towards the same mission. Take more time to pray for other congregations and genuinely seek how you can help them in their struggles. Let’s just assume the church down the street is not butchering the scripture, and start rejoicing when they rejoice and mourn when they are in sorrow. This mentality,if not taken seriously, will destroy everything if allowed to take hold.

2. Ministry Possession– Contrary to popular belief, the church kitchen is not your kitchen, the library is not your library, the pew you sit in is not your pew, and the gym is not your gym (ohh…I mean family life center). If you have given money, time, and energy to create and sustain a ministry of the church then you should be commended. These resources are God’s though; not yours. Don’t give anything if you are not willing to give it completely without the expectation of eternal ownership in it. Let God use what He will for His purposes.

3. Ignoring Scripture– We may read verses in the worship services out loud, or notice the inspirational framed segments of scripture on the foyer walls, but how many people actually have a holy fear about whether or not they are treating God’s word with proper reverence. By this, I mean, are we simply reading, or are we passionately doing? Far too many people rely on the pastor to study scripture for them, and neglect their own personal study. God wants to speak with you more than once a week.

4. Ignoring Children’s call to Ministry– Little Susie wants to be a missionary when she grows up. What do we do when we hear this? Of course we pat her on the head and smile. We know she will come to her senses when she starts encountering adult problems. We will see if this feeling lasts… WHY???? WHY do we do this? As people who believe that the Holy Spirit is real and active, we MUST take this seriously and immediately take action. This child has so much she could be accomplishing for the kingdom. Not in 15 years….NOW. Getting kids involved in ministry will only grow the church.

5. Mixed up Priorities– Do you realize how much time, talent, and energy is spent every week on issues such as what kind of communion wafers will be served, where the organ is placed, and whether or not drums are used in the service? Are we that bored with God? We have to realize that while we are arguing in our committees about these things, there are people outside our walls dying, and trying to get our attention. The pain is too much to bear, but we are occupied with wall color in the fellowship hall. Don’t allow the enemy to win in this area.

God empowered the church with His Holy Spirit for a reason. Don’t allow these issues to erode at progress and steal joy. We can make a choice to be better.

Go forward in love.

-Landon DeCrastos

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Flickering

“I’m willing to bet there are millions of churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experienced His presence or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can. The benchmark of success in church services has become more about attendance than the movement of the Holy Spirit. The “entertainment” model of church was largely adopted in the 1980’s and ‘90’s and while it alleviated some of our boredom for a couple of hours a week, it filled our churches with self-focused consumers rather than self-sacrificing servants attuned to the Holy Spirit….The light of the American church is flickering and nearly extinguished, having largely sold out to the kingdoms and values of this world….We are not all we were made to be when everything in our lives and churches can be explained apart from the work and presence of the Spirit of God….shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?”- Francis Chan, Forgotten God.

Power Given

“Sometimes, I hear people talk about the different men and women of the Old Testament, and there is a hint of jealousy. They may say it, or just insinuate it, but here’s what they communicate…’What would it have been like to hear God’s voice and see him move in such powerful ways? I wish it was the same for us as it was for those whose stories we read about in scripture.

When I get to heaven I can’t wait to ask David, Elijah, or Moses what it was like.’ But I think it will be just the opposite in heaven. Before we can ask David what it was like to slay a giant, to win the battles, he’ll say, Tell me what it was like on earth to have the Holy Spirit inside of you, giving you strength when you are weak. We might say to Elijah, What was it like to call down fire from heaven before the prophets of Baal and to raise that boy from the dead? And I think Elijah might say, yeah, he actually ended up dying again. You tell me what it’s like to have God living inside of you. What was it like to live life on earth with the Holy Spirit giving you joy when you’re depressed or giving you the power to overcome that sin in your life? We might say to Moses, What was it like to follow the cloud by day and the fire by night? What was it like to meet with God on that Mountain? And Moses might say, I had to climb that mountain to meet with God. You tell me what it was like to have him dwell in you everyday. What was it like to have the Holy Spirit giving you directions when you didn’t know what to do or where to go?”

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus Christ, Kyle Idleman