You have heard the statistics: Eighty-five percent (or so) of churches are plateaued or declining. So many churches that were once flourishing aren’t now. The question is
“Why?” How does this happen? How does a church lose its momentum? How can we keep it from happening to us? If it has happened, how do we regain momentum? I hope my list below helps. Here are:
Five Reasons a Church Loses Momentum
The Vision Becomes Unclear.
Vision Drift Happens. Slowly and quietly a church forgets WHY they are doing WHAT they are doing. This vision can also be hijacked by a person or group of people that have agendas and ambitions to turn the ministry into the ministry they just left behind. Why is it that people leave one place, come to our place, and then try to turn our place into the one the just left?! Don’t allow that happen. Great leaders are Mean About The Vision.
Gravitational Pull Takes Over.
Andy Stanley told me years ago that the gravitation pull of the church is always inward. A church will tend to begin to design its services, ministries, and programming for those that currently attend rather than those that aren’t yet convinced. Every day, church leaders must react against this gravitational pull and remind the church that the church exists primarily for the benefit of its non-members.
Energy and Enthusiasm Decreases.
When we forget WHY we do WHAT we do, we will eventually lose our passion. When we forget that the church is a Spiritual Rescue Station, the sense of energy and passion, from the parking lot to the stage, diminishes. We need to constantly remember that most of WHAT we do in ministry is not all that sexy. WHY we do it makes all the difference. We must consistently remind those who serve with us why we are here and spur them on toward love and good deeds for the sake of the call!
The Two Front Doors Are Neglected.
The two most common neglects in churches who have lost their way are the church’s website and the church’s worship service. God looks at the heart, but man looks on the outward appearance! In order to reach people that no one else is reaching or everyone else wants to reach, we must pay attention to the #1 and #2 ways that people indicate interest in our church: Checking out our website; and checking out our service! We need to spend inordinate amounts of time designing, tweaking, and evaluating both of these first impressions of our church, to maximize the hopes that more people might give Jesus and the church one more shot at our church...and then come back for more!
The Leader Stops Growing.
As the leader, the bad news is that we are the lid. The good news is that we are the lid! If we can grow ourselves, we can grow the ministry. Every growing leader I know leads a growing ministry. Every stagnated leader I know leads a stagnated ministry.This is why I am such a big proponent of ongoing one-on-one coaching. As iron sharpens iron so one friend sharpens another! Number one mistake pastors make? Isolation! Don't allow that to be you. Drop us a line. We would love to help your church sustain or regain your momentum...by helping you grow!