Home Pastors Articles for Pastors How to Kill Your Church in 5 Easy Steps

How to Kill Your Church in 5 Easy Steps

5. Seek to live in the past. 

Churches actually do this in a number of ways, the most obvious of which is to be highly suspicious of any sort of change.

Music styles, architecture, structural paradigms and cultural engagement in general are all evolving concepts, and if the church does not reflect the culture in which it finds itself in all these areas, the result is far worse than simply an unclear Gospel.

In the end, the church may lose the Gospel altogether, because they have identified its delivery with certain cultural accutrements rather than a bloody cross and an empty tomb.

But there is more than one way to live in the past.

As with any social system, churches, over time, develop corporate patterns of behavior, and some of these patterns are not healthy. If they are not repented of and clearly dealt with, they become the growing snowball that leads the church in one direction; downhill!

One thing is for sure, though. If you want to ensure that you don’t exist in the future, then just refuse to think about it.

Roughly 3500 churches in North America close their doors for good each and every year. The vast majority of those I’ve seen close with my own eyes did so by following the strategy I’ve outlined above. Many of them were not even aware of what they were doing, and when their subconscious path was pointed out, they simply chose to deny it … and keep dying!

So, if you are following the principles above, and refuse to repent, I can guarantee that your church will eventually be included in that number.  

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Dr. Joel Rainey is an imperfect, but growing follower of Jesus Christ, husband to Amy, father of three, and Executive Director of the Mid-Maryland Baptist Association. He is on the adjunct faculty of two seminaries, the author of three books, and numerous articles.