Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions 7 Signs Your Church Will Never Change

7 Signs Your Church Will Never Change


There’s a very good chance you’re trying to change something in your church or organization. There’s even a decent chance some of you are trying to change everything. I’ve been there. Just because God never changes doesn’t mean your church shouldn’t. In fact, the most effective churches change constantly. But effective churches never change the mission or the message (those are eternal).

But effective churches always change the methods to make sure the mission stays alive and the message gets heard. And that means change.


Change is at the heart of effective churches because a leader’s job is to take people from where they are to where they need to be. You can’t do that without ushering in change. And yet, trying to engineer change can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do as a leader.

How do you know when your church is simply so resistant to change that it isn’t going to budge? How do you know the problem is so deep that radical intervention is required?

7 signs your church is never going to change.

1. You keep having the same conversation over and over (and over) again.

Ever have that feeling like no meeting is ever a new meeting—that you’re talking about the same issues month after month, year after year?

Far too many church leaders have that feeling, actually.

Without getting into specifics, I worked a report on church growth 15 years ago for a church group experiencing decline. Last year, I saw the same group of people table an almost identical report addressing the exact same issue. By all accounts, they had made no progress on the issue despite studying it for a decade and a half.

The only thing that changed, of course, is that now the problem is far worse than it was before. The attendance decline they were experiencing has morphed into a free fall.

Talking about about an issue—even talking passionately about an issue—and doing nothing about it is a complete waste of time.

Awareness doesn’t solve problems.

Discussion doesn’t solve problems.

Insight doesn’t solve problems.

Action does.

In my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow, I devote an entire chapter to how to lead your board through a productive conversation that leads to actual change. (You can download a sample chapter for free here.)

Previous article10 Counterfeit Christ Figures We Should Stop Worshiping
Next articlePreaching for Youth: Finding Topics for Youth Sermons
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.