How do we fix a struggling Church? Why is the Church struggling in the first place? Some Churches become complacent. Some Churches try to be everything to everyone. No matter how your Church got to where it is, it is time for a change.
Since I was a kid, I have regularly attended at least a dozen different Churches. I have seen some rise and some fall. Some of these churches have been spiritually on fire. I have also witnessed the struggling Church as well. Sin has broken a struggling Church apart at the seams with affairs, theft, egos, hate, money and everything in between. The one thing in common in a struggling Church is the lack of a leader.
All Churches need a leader to tend to the flock. Churches need elders to hold pastoral staff accountable. Congregations need to hold their elders accountable. Christians need to hold each other accountable. When you loose focus on what is important, your Church will crumble.
Before my current Church home, I attended a different Church for 12 years. When I started attending this Church, the focus of the Church was “keep the main thing the main thing.” The main thing in this Church was God. God could be seen in every aspect of the Church. The mood in the Church was uplifting and spiritual. You felt welcomed no matter who you were or where you were from. After the sermon, you felt refreshed and encouraged to tackle the world in a Godly way.
Acts 20:28 NASB “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
How a struggling Church continues to walk away from God.
A flourishing Church quickly becomes overcrowded. More and more people wanted to be part of something great. The Church was breaking apart at the seams in a good way.
After the Church had exceeded capacity, there was a need to relocate. Growth is a good thing if you keep the main thing the main thing. If a Church looses focus on God, things will quickly unravel. Just as with this Church that I had proudly attended for 12 years.
Messages of salvation were traded in for messages of giving. The focus quickly changed from God to money. The bigger, more extravagant the building, the better. Or as we were told if you build it they will come. A once humble God-centered Church turned into a country club. You cannot operate a Church in the same manner as a country club.
After countless sermons on giving and countless letters of guilting for donations, I finally said enough is enough. I could no longer stand by and support a Church that did not focus on God. Instead of trusting God to provide, leadership tried to shake down the congregation.
When a struggling Church continues down the same road, they are not blessed. Church attendance slipped and long time members left. The base of the country club stuck around to beat the drums even harder. New attendees were left with the wrong impression of what a God-centered Church looks like. Some never returned.
We must trust God and not lead our flock astray.