Ten Reasons Why Small Churches Tend To Stay Small

Loved these post (part 1, part 2) by Dr. Joe McKeever on Ten Reason Why Small Churches Tend to Stay Small.

Not that small in numbers is necessarily bad as Dr. Mckeever explains here:

By using the word “grow,” I do not mean numbers for numbers sake. I do not subscribe to the fallacy that bigness is good and small churches are failures. What I mean by “grow” is reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you reach them and start new churches, your local church may not expand numerically, but it is most definitely “growing.” If you are located in a town that is losing population and your church manages to stay the same size, you’re probably “growing”

Health and growth and discipling are the real issues. Big and small churches can get stuck in the rut of doing church without spiritual fruit and reproduction of disciples. Dr. McKeever gives us some practical words on recognizing and climbing out of possible ruts and hindrances to health and growth. Here’s the ten:

  1. Wanting to stay small. “We like our church just the way it is.”
  2. A quick turnover of pastors.
  3. Domination by a few strong members. A “church boss” frustrates the pastors initiatives and controls his tendencies. Diotrephes in III John is a great example. He “loves to have the pre-eminence.”
  4. Not trusting the leaders. Micromanaging the churches every move, demanding to know every penny’s whereabouts and who squashed every bug.
  5. Inferiority complex. “We can’t do anything because we’re small. We don’t have the kind of money other churches have.”
  6. No plan. Going through the motions of all churches everywhere with no vision for reaching their specific community.
  7. Bad health. Always bickering, unable to make simple decisions, running the pastor off every two years. Romans 12 is a good place to start to get healthy.
  8. Lousy fellowship. A failure of the most basic kind – a failure to love.
  9. A state of neglect. Dying churches do not tend to their business. Problems fester and divisions go unaddressed.
  10. No prayer. Love this suggestion by Dr. McKeever:

“Want to give your congregation a little test, pastor? Next Sunday, call for your people to meet you at the altar for a time of prayer. Do not beg them or cajole them. Just announce it, then walk there yourself, kneel and begin praying. See if anyone joins you. Notice who comes and pay close attention to who does not.”

Much wisdom here. Hope you’ll read the whole article and think through how you can help move your church past these issues to health and growth or help stay away from them if you are healthy and growing.

Follow Joe everyday at his blog – www.joemckeever.com.

Posted on February 1, 2010, in Ministry. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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