DEAD END CHURCH
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead." - Revelation 3:1 (NLT)
As a Christian, it is always important for me to take a self evaluation of my own life to see where I am spiritually. Am I moving forward in my Christian life or am I dying a slow death? In the same way, as a pastor I must constantly look at the church God has given me responsibility for and ask the same question, "Is the church alive, hanging on to the "status quo" or is it dead?"
Over the years, I have had some wonderful experiences in churches. I have pastored some great churches and I have pastored no so great churches. I have been under leadership that was an awesome experience and I have been under leadership where what I learned was how not to pastor a church. With each experience, God showed me several things that are good indicators of a church that are dead or dying.
Hanging onto the Past
I love hearing stories of how God worked through churches in the past, how revival came and lives were saved. Anyone in their own right mind would cherish those type of memories. However, when it comes to hanging on to the past so tightly that you cannot discover new miracles and memories in the present... something is wrong. I firmly believe in a God who is the "same yesterday, today and tomorrow" (Hebrews 13:8). If we serve a God who is the "same yesterday, today and tomorrow" wouldn't you think that He would desire to do what He did then... again? You may be attending a dead or dying church if your church is hanging on to the past. A church that is alive and well is one that lives in the present and presses forward to the future.
Not Willing to Change
There are times in the church when we tend to get a little too comfortable. Change is part of who we are. I am not talking about change that conforms to society, but coming to the point where we understand that change is important in order to get the TRUTH of GOD'S WORD out. At Connections Community Church, we will never compromise the Word of God. However, we may change the way it is delivered in order to meet the understanding needs of society. The foundation of the Word of God will always be solid... however, the design of the building may look different than the way it has been built in the past.
Laziness and Complacency in Leadership
If your church is dead or dying, there is a good possibility that your leadership is set on "cruise control". In other words, your leadership loves the smooth road ahead, feels like they do not need to do much to keep the vehicle (the Church) moving forward, and just sets back and enjoys the ride. This type of leadership is not interested in doing anything new... "Let's just keep things going the way they are going". I can't tell you how many times I have heard pastors say, "Well, this is the way we have always done it". We need to constantly evaluate where we are and what we need to do to continue to move forward for the glory of God.No Youth or Young AdultsThis is a constant struggle for churches that dot the horizon of America. I love senior adults. I firmly believe that it is important for the young to experience the wisdom and experience of the old, and the old to experience the freshness and fire of the young. However, I firmly believe that if aging church members refuse to see the importance of doing what is needed to reach out to the young, they will fail generations to come... and die.
No Evangelism Evangelism is one of the biggest reason I became a pastor in the Evangelical Methodist Church. It seems that more and more churches today are slipping away from this Biblical responsibility. When the church fails in the area of evangelism, the church slowly begins to become stagnant and eventually dies. No matter what people have done, no matter what lifestyle that are presently walking in, we must desire to love them and invite them into a life changing experience with Jesus Christ. We must pray for them and with them. So... I never want to be a part of a dead church. I never want Connections Community Church to walk down a death path that will lead to its destruction. My prayer is that as a Church... the body of Christ... we will consciously be aware of areas and mindsets that can kill us and stay away from them. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the task of kingdom building is too important to play these type of games. Blessings to you! Todd Inman Pastor