In a recent article in Evangelicals Now, Marcus Honeysett sets out ten reasons why churches stall. We need, he suggests, to look beyond the superficial (such as worship styles and service times) to the deeper problems that can occur.
Our churches stall when (I summarise):-
- We forget who and what we are, neglecting our high calling and our lofty mission.
- We are no longer thrilled with the Lord and what he is doing in our lives.
- We are comfortable with the activities and events on offer, but resist the challenge to radical and sacrificial living.
- We are dominated by ‘filler-Christians’ (i.e. those who fit church things into the spaces left by other commitments and activities)
- We rely on others to spoon-feed us the word of God rather than being active in studying and applying Scripture for ourselves
- We are satisfied with ‘sound teaching’ that lacks life-application.
- We stop asking radical questions (such as, ‘Is this activity past its sell-by date?’).
- We confuse activity with discipleship.
- We do not understand how to release and encourage everyone in the church to use their spiritual gifts.
- We move in maintenance mode, looking to uphold tradition, or the status quo, rather than seek growth and positive change.