20 (New) Politically Incorrect Thoughts on Church in America

20 (New) Politically Incorrect Thoughts on Church in America

About four years ago, I was in a particularly feisty mood and I wrote this article to see how many church people I might offend.

Enough time has passed that it seemed appropriate to offer some new politically incorrect thoughts. I have plenty of them, but I’ll narrow it down to 20, because I like consistency.

Here’s my 2018 list:

1. Churches lack a focused spiritual formation strategy. They hide that fact behind a full calendar.

More programs, events and activities at the church don’t produce spiritual growth and it doesn’t lead to making new disciples. But Christians having fun won’t complain.

2. Opportunities to engage with your church should be on-demand.

At the very least, that should look like engaging online services and next step discipleship opportunities. To expect people to come to the church building for all opportunities to engage is like bookstores expecting customers to come to their store at 11:00 on Sunday morning to buy books rather than shopping on Amazon.

3. Most multisite churches are not really one church.

They are multiple churches connected by one budget meeting in multiple locations.

4. I’d still always hire a children’s ministry pastor before a youth pastor.

The data shows growing churches have a strong kids’ ministry while there’s no correlation that a strong student ministry leads to health and growth.

5. Your contemporary services aren’t contemporary.

They are retreads of services that churches started doing about four decades ago. More on that here. They’re too long. Too slow. And too repetitive. The church needs to regain its creative edge.

6. Trying to convince people to become “members” at your church? You’re fighting a losing battle.

Anyone under the age of 40 has probably never been a member of any organization, and they certainly aren’t looking to “join” a church.

7. It doesn’t matter that you are an expository or topical teacher if people are far from God.

Rather than being married to your method of teaching, you should be more concerned with people who aren’t connecting with your teaching and that their next steps toward Jesus are unclear.

8. Multi-ethnic and multi-generational churches are often the most segregated churches I visit. 

Diverse people may attend your church, but your church is still segregated if they meet in separate ministry environments with distinct worship styles.

9. It would serve many churches well to reduce their staff by 30 percent and give a generous pay increase to the remaining people.

Again, the data confirms this. Growing churches typically have 30 percent fewer staff than declining churches

10. God doesn’t save us so we can go to church on Sunday and then go to Heaven when we die.

We need to do a better job equipping God’s people to live out his mission where they live, work and play.

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Tony Morgan
Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.