I’m just thinking aloud here today as I wonder if many churches in North America ever ask these questions:
- Why have we not done anything about years of decline? I don’t understand why nobody speaks up about this problem. Too many churches sleep themselves into death.
- Are we reaching any non-believers? Even growing churches—including young church plants—often fail to ask this question. Transfer growth, though, will never reach the world.
- If we weren’t here, would our community miss our church? The only way to answer this question is to ask the community if they even know you exist. You might be surprised by their answer.
- How long will we tolerate weak staff members? For fear of confrontation and division, congregations too often tolerate bad leadership and a poor work ethic. Mediocrity has never made much of a dent in our dark world.
- If every family in our church gave sacrificially, what could we do? Most believers give quite a low percentage of their income to the church. Only God knows how much more ministry we could do if we gave until we felt the sacrifice.
- Doesn’t anybody see how messy our building is (or how bad it smells)? Nobody asks these questions because church regulars unknowingly become desensitized to these issues.
- How many more years before we die? A simple analysis and graphing of current rates of decline will show that many churches will be gone within this generation or the next one. The problem is that nobody speaks about the symptoms until it’s too late.
- Why do pastors always leave us so quickly? It’s easy to blame the pastor is he’s the only short-termer in the church’s history; if every pastor is short-term, though, the congregation needs to look in the mirror.
- Do we really care about sin? Many churches really do care about sin, but only so long as it’s somebody else’s. Meanwhile, they tolerate it in their own congregation.
- Does Satan know us by name? This is the question of Acts 19:11-15 – a theme text for me about which I’ve written before. I still think we must ask this question.
Does your church need to ask any of these questions?