Friday, May 20, 2011

Heart and Soul of a Dying Church

I was thinking today, about how there are so many churches just struggling to get by.  So many that want to do the right things, grow, reach more people, but just aren't a church that is really living.  The church is dying.  As I was thinking about it, it hit me.  Why these churches are dying, there are still living people in them.  Most of the time, these people really aren't bad people or people you don't want to spend time with, they are just misguided.  I can say that, I am a pastor.

Do you ever wander who these people were in their day, you know back before they were the "old" people of the church?  I often wonder that myself about my own grandmother.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to just sit down and really find out what her own personal struggles were when she was growing up.  You see these people have stories too.  They know what it was like to live a hard life, to work for a work to live.

So what happened?  Why are there so many churches that are filled with older people and have no young ones to keep the church alive.  Again, misguidance.  All to often, I think we get stuck in a rut.  We forget what our purpose is. We forget we are to look like Christ, not just follow a bunch of rules.

I don't see Christ as a rule follower.  How many times did he break the rules of the day just to do the right thing.  I mean sure he followed God's rules, but man's rules could be broken if they went against what he believed to be right.

So what rules have we been guided to follow that get in our way of sharing the gospel with others.  Have the rules replaced your Gospel?  I know I have caught myself looking at what I believe as only a set of rules and not really taking in what I say I believe.

I say all of this because I want to challenge you to evaluate what it is you are showing others when you show them Christ.  Are you showing them a rut in the ground to later help them become part of a dying church, or are you showing them a life that is renewed and ever changing.Yes, Grandma, God is the same, yesterday, and forever, but we are not.  If we are growing in him, we will not be the same day to day.  I church will never be the same as it was.  (Hopefully if we are growing in him, our church is growing in him as well)

So what does this mean? It means we need to breathe life back into the heart and soul of our churches.  Show them what it means to be the church, not just attend a church.  How do we do that?  Well...that is another post altogether.


  1. This post really got to me because the church I attend is seen as a 'dying' church. A lot of bad things have happened, several scandals, and I think the adults have lost their way, so we youth are thin on the ground. We've started to get back to basics and carry out our mission as Christians: sharing the gospel and showing Christ-like love, which go hand in hand! Christ always took care of the community's needs, he always cared for the 'un-converted'.

    I heard a sermon the other day by David Asscherick (have you heard of him? Check him out on Youtube, he's very inspirational). He said that we'll only take two things to Heaven: our Character and the people who we had reached and witnessed to: converts!

    There's also a problem here in the UK that certain denominations are waning. The Anglican churches are getting thinner on the ground--for older people and younger people, but the Pentecostal churches are growing and so is the Seventh-Day Adventist church to some extent (which is what I'm in). But Islam is growing the fastest. I wonder if the 'family values' aspect of that religion is what draws people? Only God knows.


  2. Unfortunantly I have not heard of David Asscherick, I will have to look him up. One of the biggest things I think people take away from church is that it is a list of dos and don'ts when its not really that at all. Many of us are so used to how we view the world that we miss the real point and that God didn't give us a list of dos and don'ts but essentially just two commands that go hand and hand. Loving Him and Loving each other. Everything else He will share with us or convict us about if it is getting in the way of doing one of those things.

    I feel sorry for people that miss the point. Not because it will help, but rather because I was one of them at one point, and life beyond the rules is so much easier to serve God.

    I hope someday churches will realize how much our teens really mean to our church and how much our children and youth can really teach us if we just let them.

    Thanks for reading.