Did you know, every time a shooting star streaks across the sky, another church closes its doors? Actually, I just made that up, but let’s be honest, a lot of churches are splitting and closing down to the tune of around eight thousand a year*, and I would like to venture a guess that most of them actually don’t know the root cause!
Well, I am going to give you the answer… the laws of motion and the second law of thermodynamics seem to reveal a simple truth…
all things move and all things grow or decay, but nothing stands still forever.
Everything in the universe, according to all respected and known scientists are moving. Take your body for instance. From the time you were a baby, you begin a forward march towards death and a new life in heaven. But your body does this by developing and shedding and sometimes consuming its own cells. There is a no pause button. Easing into a proverbial lazy individual means that you will begin to slide backward, and die. Ok, so what does this have to do with churches closing their doors?
The internet is full of many articles, studies, reports, etc. on the reasons behind church attendance declining as well as why churches fail. I’m sure many of the variables contributing to the decline are accurate.
From my own experience, it’s safe to assume that the main root cause churches suffer and eventually fail is a time-honored classic version of nothingness, like black holes in space. These massive anomalies are only identified by their nothingness, however, they can suck entire planets into oblivion. The church can easily fall into this category… on the outside, nothing is happening, so why would there be any tension or problems?
It is because the spiritual gifts given to the church are not being sent out into the community, where they are needed and therefore a vortex of frustration, idle hands and gossip, and unused talents develop, which begins to eat at itself and those around it, sucking in and destroying any life in its path.
The eventual result is people turning on one other. However, it’s essential that we understand where it comes from… it comes from forgetting that we are on a walk with Christ, not a spiritual retirement. Our gifts are given to be used, not stored away for Sunday morning to be used “as needed”.
What can we do? Love, Love, Love….
If your church leadership is lost in the confusion of church bureaucracy so that the leaders no longer knows how to reach out and share the gospel? Then you love them more and pray for them harder.
If your neighbor tells you about a person stuck in sin, you ask them how they are involved in the situation and if they aren’t, let them know you aren’t interested in gossiping and butt out!
If you are a leader or pastor, you must lead from the front. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to do what you do on a Sunday in your neighborhood, gym or at a street corner, one person at a time. Simply share a short message of Jesus… His love, His hope for their lives, pray for healing for someone or just smile and ask if someone needs help.
Doing the gospel is very simple, we just have to the prioritize time to do it.
If you want more info about how be the church outside the context of a church building, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love the chance to coach you on how love like Christ no matter where you find yourselves.
*If you are interested in the reports used for this static, please feel free to email me.