It’s no secret that thousands of churches close every year.
Every time I hear of a church that’s closing, my heart sinks. Despite the voices of all of the critics, I really do believe the local church is a beacon of light in a world that’s increasingly dark.
In light of the fact that I have a strong bias toward seeing churches grow and flourish, are there ever reasons a church should close?
Sadly, I think there are.
I began ministry in three little churches that were fairly close to death. One of them maybe had a year left.
By God’s grace, we saw a tremendous turnaround and began to reach new families and see people come to faith.
What was needed in many ways was a heart transplant. It’s not that people didn’t have good hearts, it’s that the church had lost its heart. It no longer had a burning sense of mission.
Once we rediscovered the church’s mission, things began to change dramatically.
That’s my wish for every church. But sadly, it doesn’t happen nearly enough.
So how do you know the end is near? When should a church close?
Here are five good reasons a church should throw in the towel and close its doors if it doesn’t want to change.
1. The Real Mission Is Lost
Once you begin to lose momentum as a church, it’s so easy to go into survival mode.
And part of that is understandable. You’re trying to keep the doors open, not lay off staff and preserve the progress you’ve made so far. But it’s also easy to lose focus on the mission in that process.