Why churches don’t grow (true or false)

1.  Smallsville (Our town is too small. Our facilities are too small. Our crowd is too small)


A) With the lone exception of  Monowi, Nebraska (population: 1) most every town has residents that need Jesus.

B) There weren’t any church buildings until around 400 AD and the early believers seemed to manage just fine without them.  Besides they saved money on the electric bill..

c) Jesus had a group of 12 men and they all deserted him– but once they got their Acts together (Did you see what I did there?   It was a little thing called “Pentecost” described in Acts 2 that made the difference)– That little group turned the world upside down.


2.  Oops-itus. (We have the wrong ________  Pick your problem from the following choices: preacher, crowd or music).


What people care about more than music, demographics and sermons is: Are they loved?  Forget “If you build it they will come,” the correct motto should be “if you love them they will come.”


3.  Mega-envy.  (Only mega churches grow).


Churches grow all over the world and never obtain “mega church” status.

There are great loving churches under 1,000 in attendance.

There are great loving churches that average under 100 in attendance.

There are great loving churches that average under 50 in attendance. 

There are even great loving churches that meet in a home and average under 20 in attendance. 


4.  Blame  (It’s not me, God hasn’t sent people our way).

         Maybe true maybe not

If we believe in a loving sovereign God, then it makes sense that God would direct some people to other churches rather than to send people to a dysfunctional or damaging church.  But it may be equally true that no new people have darkened your doors because no one has invited a new person since the Carter Administration.   


5.  Burp!  (Of course we’d never say it, but we care more about potlucks, softball games, and ladies craft nights than reaching the lost.)

         Most likely true.

Not once did Jesus teach us the value of “the covered dish;” or instruct Peter and Andrew how to turn a double play; and he rarely (read: never) gave scrapbooking or needlepoint tips. But he did tell us to make disciples, love the lost, and help the hurting.


6.  Busy (We are busy people.  We’d like to do more, but we don’t have time to _____________ –pick one: pray enough, evangelize enough, try enough or risk enough).

Most definitely true

The biggest enemy of evangelism is not a post-Christian America, millennials who want to leave the church, or worship wars within the church– the biggest enemies of evangelism are our busy schedules that eliminate prayer and the time to organize, plan, dream and execute the strategy to reach our generation.


3 thoughts on “Why churches don’t grow (true or false)

  1. chr

    If I be lifted up I will draw ALL MEN unto ME! I think too often we concentrate on the best barbeque, the best games , the nicest parking lot , etc. Fortunately, none of those previously mentioned things have anything to do with it. Jesus said, If I be lifted up, I (notice not the pastor or youth pastor or music pastor, or childrens pastor) yes Jesus is lifted up , he himself will draw men unto himself. It seems to me the theology gained here is, the church’s only job is to lift Jesus up.

  2. vincanity

    I’m with you on the “getting their Acts together.” Something of the power of the Spirit within that drives and compels us toward kingdom priorities.


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