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What is Killing Your Congregation?
Let me start by saying that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t think anyone does, except for The Man upstairs, and He’s going to reveal those in His own time. So, let me ask you a few questions. Is your congregation steadily declining? Would you like to be able to turn that around, but you don’t know what to do? How do you give your congregation a breath of life? It might be as easy as evaluating your current structure and discipline.
Let’s be honest. We know this is a different time, and many young people aren’t finding a spiritual community. Every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity, according to a report from Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, published on the website churchleadership.org. He extrapolates an even further drop in church attendance by the year 2025. So, what is the culprit? I think it can be narrowed down to variations of seven different causes.
When a church congregation is in its infancy, you usually have a gathering of like-minded individuals with a particular mission. It’s easy to direct these folks, because they are all seeking the same thing. It might be spreading the Gospel in the community, or going abroad to other countries. As the congregation at your custom steel church building evolves, and new individuals walk through the door, the mission can get distorted, especially in the second and third generations of families. Really, the longer congregations are in existence, the more comfortable they can become. If your congregation loses scope of the vision they originally planned to fulfill, it could lead to a weakening.
Where is your church located? Is it in a shady part of town? Is it difficult to attend or hard to find? Do you ever have trouble giving someone directions to worship? If you said ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you might want to relocate your church. This is where some people might argue that the reason ‘mega churches’ are so successful is because they are in fact so large. But I like to think it doesn’t have anything to do with size, and its success hinges on its visibility. If you need to move location, or need a new change of scenery, consider a custom steel church building. Sometimes a new beginning can reinvigorate a congregation, like it did for this church.
Many churches don’t feel like they have a problem in the first place. Praying will go a long way to helping your church grow, but it isn’t the single answer. Use prayer to get in touch with your congregation and get closer to God. It also helps to ask God for a direction. As you would pray for a member of the community or family member, pray for a direction. It’s the first step into acknowledging you have a predicament in your house of worship.
Programs and Skills
Having the right people in charge is paramount to your church’s success. Hire the right employees and ministers at your custom steel church building. This might be accomplished through trial and error. The same can be said about the programs you offer. Do adults meet for Bible study? Do the children have a special place at your church, like vacation bible school or Sunday school? What about a drama club, or choir? The more opportunity your church offers, the more people it will attract.
As a church leader, you understand that personal relationships can make or break a churchgoers experience. Whether your congregation has 50 people or 500 members, it’s difficult to form a personal relationship with each one. I know that if you could be best friends with every worshiper, you would be. Sometimes, that’s just not possible.
The funny thing about life – it can get in the way. Family, sports, and other events happen, and church seems to always take a backseat. It’s difficult to bring those people back to Sunday service, but that doesn’t mean you should quit trying. You can’t simply shrug and give up. Fight for every member of your congregation. People come to church for many reasons, but ultimately I’ve found they attend because they want to be a part of something. They want a sense of belonging, and they want to share their spirituality. Show them they matter, and they’ll return to your custom steel church building.
It’s true, the old generations of churchgoers will slowly pass away, and the new generations will take their place. If you can identify the main causes of decay, you’ll be better prepared to seek a solution that fits your congregation.
Do you have anything to add to this article? Tell us about your personal situation, and what you’re doing to promote the growth of your congregation. We’d love to hear from you!Photo courtesy: Quinn Dombrowski, Mathieu Plourde
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