21 Signs Your Church Needs to Change

Sometimes I think we should just hang signs like this in some churches or organizations when it comes to change: People are just closed.

And if you’re closed to change, it’s probably only a matter of time until your church or organization closes.

OK, no one actually says they’re closed, but in reality, they’re not open.

Here’s how it happens.

The need for change is easy to spot in others, and very difficult to spot in yourself.

So leaders are left wondering: Do we really need to change?

They tell themselves:

It’s not that bad.

Things will turn around.

I’m sure it’s going to be OK.

Sometimes all of us go a bit blind to the need for change because we’re afraid.

We’ve seen how change has swallowed colleagues alive. We’ve watched great leaders suffer as they met all kinds of opposition. We sense the conflict pending in our own community.

As a result, we ignore the signs that would tell us change is needed.

So, how do you know your organization needs to change? How do you stay 100 percent honest as a leader and engage the difficult issues?

Answer: You constantly watch for the signs you need to change.


21 Signs Your Church Needs to Change

What are those signs? Well, there are plenty of them.

At the macro and micro level, here are 21 signs your church needs to change:


1. Your stories are about what used to happen.

When your stories are about what used to happen, not what’s going to happen, you need to change.

Your memories exceed your dreams. And that’s dangerous.

When your stories are about what used to happen, not what’s going to happen, the end is near.


2. You’re still growing, but any real innovation has stopped.

For some churches, growth stopped years ago. But some are still growing.

Remember. Every season has a shelf life. Smart leaders prepare for the next season before the current one expires.


3. Your team is misaligned.

This means you need to change your culture.

Misaligned organizations will always struggle with organizational health and unity in purpose and mission.

For more on alignment, see this post on what I’ve learned from North Point about alignment, and this post on how alignment can revolutionize trust in your organization.

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Carey Nieuwhof
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.

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