I just read about another church closing. Ten years ago, few would have predicted this particular church’s closure.
It didn’t close because it compromised its conviction, doctrine or changed their bible. They closed because they failed to allow God’s transforming power to change them. God’s path to abundant life for a church or Christian is transformation/change. That is true for anything God is involved in. There are two options: change or die.
What kind of change is needed? Let me begin by saying the needed changes can only happen in God’s power.
1. We must stop trying to live in the past. It does us no good. As a Pastor, I can assure you easy growth is not a reality for any church. Why? People no longer come to church because they believe they must do so to be accepted. “The old saying, “they know where we are, they can come if they want to” is poison. The Great Commission for Christianity is about going; it’s not about y’all come.
2. We must cease seeing the church as a place of convenience, comfort, and stability in our fast changing world. Certainly, God’s truth is unchanging, should we expect our church not to change methods, approaches, and man-made traditions? We must make a difference. We must not accept “We’ve never done it that way before;” that mentality will kill our church.
3. We must abandon the entitlement mentality. We must not only be willing to give of our time to attend church. We must be willing to call, visit, pray, guard our speech, and be encouragers. If someone speaks against our church family we must show displeasure toward their action.
I ask you to pray a simple prayer, ask God to give you witnessing opportunities. You may be surprised how He will use you.
4. We must understand “Discipleship” does not mean caretaking and “Fellowship” does not mean entertainment.
5. We must stop shooting our own. This tragedy is related to the entitlement mentality. If we don’t get our way, we will go after the pastor, or the church member who has a different perspective than our own. Don’t let disgruntled members and perpetual critics control the church. Don’t shoot our own.
6. Business, finance, and some meetings are needed, but we must stop wasting time in unproductive meetings, committees, and business. Wouldn’t it be nice if every church member could only ask one question or make one comment in a meeting for every time he or she has witnessed during the week of said meeting.
7. Our church must be a houses of prayer. We are doing too much in our own power. We are really busy, but we are not doing the business of God.
Around 200 churches will close their doors this week. We must make some necessary changes. For many of your churches the choice is simple: change or die.
Please, for the sake of the gospel, will you forsake yourself and make the changes in God’s power.
Tony Kelly, Pastor