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One Sign Your Church Is Terminal

terminal church

6,000 to 10,000 churches die each year in America — and that number will likely grow in the days ahead.

Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year. That means around 100-200 churches will close this week. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes.  — Thom Rainer 

Last year, I was visiting a church and I noticed something that was heartbreaking. There were no babies in the nursery, no pre-schoolers, no elementary kids and no teenagers.

I thought to myself, “This church is terminal. Once the few senior adults who attend have passed away, there will be no more church here. They will have to close the doors. If they want their church to reach young families with children, then they are going to have make some shifts in how they do church.”

If you can’t hear any babies that are crying, then your church is dying.  — Dale

Across our country, you will find many churches that are about to close their doors.

The question is, what causes a church to enter the terminal category?

When a church cares more about tradition than they do reaching the next generation, they will become terminal.

When a church spends more on choir robes than they do on discipling the next generation, they will become terminal.

When a church refuses to make ministry changes, they will become terminal.

When a church tells kids to sit still and be quiet at church, they will become terminal.

When a church banishes the next generation to the basement (or other bad facilities), they will become terminal.

When a church refuses to embrace technology as a viable tool to reach the next generation, they will become terminal.

When a church continues to do what they have always done, they will become terminal.

When a church cares more about honorary plaques than they do about the coming generation,  they will become terminal.

When all you can see is gray hair, the church will become terminal.

When none of the cars in the church parking lot have car seats, the church will become terminal.

When a church spends more time talking about the glory days of the past than they do about what God is doing now, the church will become terminal.

When no one wants to volunteer to serve in children’s ministry, the church will become terminal.

When a church views children as a bother rather than a blessing, the church will become terminal.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)