7 Signs Your Church Is Honestly…Mediocre

7 Signs Your Church Is Honestly…Mediocre

One of the problems many churches face these days is that they’re neither great at things or terrible at things.

They’re honestly just…mediocre.

Facebook Live has made watching other churches’ services easier than ever, and as I’ve scrolled through my Sunday morning feed or visited different churches over the years, I’ve been a little amazed at what I’ve seen.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of mediocrity out there.

That probably sounds judgmental, and I’m sorry if that’s how it feels. But there’s a lot at stake here. When your church is mediocre, it should be no surprise unchurched people aren’t lining up to join you and that you’re not attracting and keeping the amazing leaders who might attend your church but don’t want to get involved because things are so sub-par.

And don’t be discouraged. Every leader and every church can be great at something, regardless of size, budget or location.

So it’s not a question of being a large church or having a million dollars. It’s a question of discovering what you can do well, how you can best express the mission of the church at the local level.

It’s a question of doing the best you can with what you have.

So, how do you know your church is mediocre? Here are seven signs to look for.

1. You Have Non-Singers Singing and Bad Players Playing

One sure sign you’ve settled into mediocrity is that on your music team, you have non-singers singing and bad players playing.

We’ve all seen that happen. Singers are regularly off key or flat. Musicians are struggling to keep up with chord changes or can’t quite get the rhythm right, all the while being glued to their music stands.

And the only people who seem to be enjoying it are the people on the music team. Everyone else is wincing or zoned out, or has become so used to it they’re now part of the problem.

So why does this happen?

First, too many church leaders value inclusion over gifting.

You ask a few questions and you hear things like:

Well, he really wanted to sing.

She really loves the keyboard.

He’s so passionate about music.

Yep, except they don’t have the talent to match their enthusiasm.

Drill a little deeper, and you soon discover the people who realize this is a problem are far too scared to do anything about it.

They feel paralyzed.

How do I tell them?

I’ll hurt their feelings.

Hey, they LOVE doing it. How can I tell them they don’t have the gifting?

And so we let the concrete of mediocrity harden and set because we’re too scared to do anything about it.

Instinctively you know you’ve caved into cowardice, but you just can’t muster up the nerve to have the hard conversation.

If you recognize yourself in this scenario, just know you have to make a choice.

You either choose the feelings of three people who can’t play or you choose the future and the dozens or hundreds of people you might reach if you actually improved your music.

Your call.

If you want more, here’s some further help on this very tender subject.

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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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