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Signs of a Dying Church?

Signs of a Dying Church?

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Category: Leading in Hope

Do any of these describe my church?

  • Plenty of beautiful, unused space
  • Declining or steady number of baptism, attendance, and giving
  • Worship services are proper but "blah"
  • Little excitement for outreach or mission to save the lost
  • Sins of the saints tolerated
  • Few new and young families
  • Church work is perceived as what takes place inside the church building only
  • Message is biblically-sound but does not connect with the need of people, or needs-based ministry but without reference to what the Bible says
  • Prevailing sense of complacency
  • Chronic shortage of leaders
  • Leaders and members function out of a sense of duty, rather out of joy and vision
  • Witness and outreach effort are done mainly by the pastors
  • Real decision-making is done in a small group of older, better-known members
  • A high percentage of inactive members

These are the contemporary signs that a church is either at a plateau or declining, like the Laodicean church in the Book of Revelation. To them, Jesus said:

"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot — far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. (Revelation 3:15-17 MSG)

The solution to such problems? Jesus replies:

"Be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends." (Revelation 3:19-20 NLT)
(Adapted from Overcome the Laodecean Mind-Set, Earl Waldrup)

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