We have produced a culture of “fair-weather” Christians, who only attend church when everything is going right in their lives. The moment a storm hits their life, they get mad at God, the pastor and the church.
There are some people who you can tell exactly what’s going on in their lives based upon their church attendance. When things are great and they have a little money in their pockets, they’re on the front row singing “Amazing Grace,” but as soon as they get laid off or deal with some sort of difficulty, they’re ready to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). The only thing that dies with that kind of attitude is the church.
Creating Dying Churches #4. Find fault with everything (and/or everyone).
Most homicide investigations begin by researching those who had something negative to say about the victim. Similarly, when a church dies, you can be sure that the fault finders are prime suspects. These are the folks who sit “in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).
Fault finders can always SPOT a problem, but they never SOLVE a problem. They are definitely church killers.
Creating Dying Churches #5. Never accept a leadership role or responsibility.
Many people have a “renters” mentality when it comes to church; they take no ownership.
When you rent an apartment, if something breaks, you call the landlord to fix it. Since you don’t own it, you have no obligation to fix it. There are too many people renting pews (and some pulpits).
It’s far easier to criticize than to mobilize. As Seth Godin says, “No one has ever built a statue to a critic.” If we want to make a difference, we have to accept the responsibility to lead—whether formally or informally.
Leadership is not about position; it’s about productivity. A congregation full of followers is on life support and is getting ready to die.
Creating Dying Churches #6. Get mad if you’re not appointed to a leadership position.
So many people in church are focused on titles. They want to be directors, deacons and dignitaries, and when they are not appointed to a position, they begin to stir up trouble.
This is a manifestation of deep-seated pride, and pride is one of the most dangerous killers of all.
Creating Dying Churches #7. Never give your opinion in a meeting…wait until AFTER the meeting.
A surefire sign of a church that is on its deathbed is one that has major “meetings-after-the-meeting.” You know, where no one voices their honest opinion or offers useful insight during the official meeting, but are quick to huddle in a corner or the church parking lot after the meeting to harp on how “it ought to be done.”
There are chalk lines all over church parking lots outlining exactly where the murder took place.
Creating Dying Churches #8. Do nothing more than absolutely necessary.
Show up, go home, but don’t be an active, engaged member of the church.