Home Pastors Articles for Pastors 10 Troubling Statements From Church Leaders and Members

10 Troubling Statements From Church Leaders and Members

If you want your church to move toward a slow yet certain death, make certain your church leadership and membership affirms most of these 10 statements.

They are troubling statements. Indeed, they are proclamations that virtually assure your church’s decline and probable demise.

All too common

What is troubling is that these statements are not uncommon. At times, they are articulated by both staff and lay leaders. See if you have ever heard any of these 10:

1. We hire our pastors and staff to do that. “That” can be evangelism. Or discipleship. Or caring for others. Or visiting people in the hospital. Some lay leaders view pastors and staff as hired hands to do ministry they should be doing themselves.

2. We have enough churches in our community. I rarely see a community that is really “overchurched.” The number of unchurched people in any one community is typically increasing, not decreasing. This comment usually comes from church leaders who view new churches as competition.

3. We are a “discipleship” church. Or an “evangelism” church. Or a “ministry” church. Church leaders who say their churches are focused on only one area of ministry are offering an excuse for not being obedient in other areas.

4. We have never done it that way before. Yes, it’s a cliché. But it’s still a very pervasive attitude among change-resistant people in the church.

5. We don’t have the money to do that. More times than not, the church does indeed have the money to focus on necessary priorities. The problem is that some church leaders don’t have the courage to reallocate funds toward those priorities.

6. We really don’t emphasize small groups. Churches that do not give a priority to small groups or Sunday school classes can count on a big exodus of people out the back door. Those in groups are five times more likely to stay involved in a church than those who attend only worship services.

7. We have enough people in our church. This is a tragic statement by leaders of inwardly  focused churches. And it is an excuse not to do evangelism and ministry.

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Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (LifeWay.com). Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and six grandchildren. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism, and Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.