And when you do, it gets bad quickly. You start to see every new person as someone who can give and serve, rather than as someone to serve and introduce to Christ. You start to view every decision through a cost filter. You care far more about efficiency than effectiveness.
The conversation shifts from how much you can do in Christ to how little you can do and survive.
The real purpose of everything you do moves from advancing the Gospel to keeping an organization on life support.
When survival becomes a church’s real mission, you’ve lost the mission and the church closing is near.
2. The Church Cares More About Itself Than the People It’s Called to Reach
It’s a sad day when a church cares more about itself than the people it’s called to reach.
So many churches are so consumed with the preferences of their members that they have no heart for their non-members. And yet the church is one of the few organizations on the planet that exists for the sake of its non-members.
When you visit some churches, you’d think Jesus said you should focus on the 99 found sheep and ignore the one that’s lost. That’s really how so many churches behave.
But think about it this way, if everyone in your town or city went to your church except one single person, you’re called to abandon everything until that one person is reached. I realize few people believe this, but I have a hard time understanding the story any other way.
Maybe it makes more sense from a family perspective.
If you have four kids and only three make it home for dinner, no decent parent says, “Well, that’s 75 percent. Good enough.”
No, you forget dinner, call the police, send out a search party and no one sleeps until the missing child is found.
What if Christians behaved that way?
When a church only cares about its members, it’s a good sign it’s lost its soul, and it’s not a bad (or surprising) reason it’s headed toward a church closing.
If Christians didn’t rest until every person was reached, more people would be reached.