6. They’re not loving enough.
Churches can seem friendly but, when you dig under the surface, a lack of love can rule the religious roost. They may attract people at first and even seem friendly, but, once in, the newcomers become grossly aware of the politics and relational dysfunction that is systemic in the congregation. Seekers and new believers often opt out for a more loving church, just stop going to church altogether, or, worse yet, stay and become just like the other members of the church.
7. They’re not praying enough.
Although I listed this last it really should be first. Why? Paul told Timothy with his instructions for setting up and organizing the many churches that they planted together to make prayer a first priority. He tells his younger protege, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Churches that pray together grow together. They grow spiritually and numerically (with new believers!). Why? Because they are fueled by divine wisdom and power, instead of the latest church growth techniques and tactics. This gives them holy momentum that starts in the hearts of the people as they begin to pray for the unreached people in their lives and communities. These prayers create room in their hearts for more compassion and room in their lives for more Gospel conversations, and soon they have no more room in their churches because of all the new believers who are growing deep and going wide in the power of God.
Sadly, many churches spend more time on Sunday morning doing church announcements than intercessory prayer.
These are seven of my observations. Again, they are not scientific but purely observational.
By the way, for help in building a Gospel Advancing ministry, go to gospeladvancing.com and take the diagnostic. Although this is a youth ministry tool that Dare 2 Share developed, most of the questions apply church-wide. Here you’ll discover the seven values of a Gospel Advancing ministry that is growing in all the right ways. If this blog unpacked the seven reasons some churches aren’t growing, this website will unpack the seven values that are alive and thriving in every ministry (whether church or youth group) that are truly and effectively advancing the Gospel.
May both youth ministries and churches across the nation start growing in all the right ways!