Bud’s Corner

Take a look at your church

Every church must continue to face the truth about herself. Is the church growing, just maintaining or dying? These are hard questions to not only ask, but answer.

If the church is growing, great! But how and why is she growing? This is good news but don’t take your growth for granted. Look at why people are coming. Look at why people are being converted and what they are converted to. Take time to look at the vision and the goals of the future, even though the church is growing.

If the church is just maintaining, why? Take a hard look at last year’s conversions. Are they still here, are they growing? What about new small groups and new programs? Maybe people are not being challenged or just plain bored. Take a look at your building and staff. Does the building need some attention? Is your staff too big or too small? Are there enough volunteers and are they properly trained and motivated?

If the church is dying, why? The first thing to admit, is that it is dying. There has to be more than one reason for this condition. Take a look at what you have left as a congregation. Then earnestly seek the truth to why. It could be a number of things.

Maybe the older generation is dying off and no new generation staying in the church. Maybe the church has lost her purpose and vision. Maybe the preaching and teachings are of a poor quality. Maybe it’s the lack of good leadership. Maybe it’s trying to live in the past and not in the future. Maybe it’s very poor worship services. Maybe the area is dying economically and people are moving away. Maybe some people are in leadership too long. Maybe there is a lack of unity in the church because of doctrine. And maybe the people are willing to let the church die because they just don’t care.

Growing churches need to keep growing. A church that just maintains needs to start growing. And a dying church needs to be revived as soon as possible, before it’s beyond resurrecting.

A dying church is a sad thing and a growing church is an exciting thing. One has a future, the other does not. A dying church is caused by division, back-biting and selfish motives. When their governing leaders cannot overcome these problems, a church will die.

It’s the simple things that grow Christ’s church. Great preaching and teaching. Great stewardship by all the members. Small groups and good interaction by the members. Great missions’ giving and mission involvement. Strong pastors who minister to the people during the week as well as the Lord’s Day.

Unless the church can produce transformed disciples who grow and serve, the church will die out someday. Look around at the denominational churches and see it happening. It’s time for all churches to wake up and take inventory.

— Yoder is an evangelist at the Christian Church at Cogan Station