Each year over 4,000 churches close their doors. There are 1/3 fewer churches today than 1950. Each day over 3,500 people leave churches.
Why does a church go extinct? Here are 10 key factors why I believe a church is forced to close it's doors.
They become comfortable and content. They talk more about the past than the present. There are more plaques celebrating the "glory days" than there are Sundays where the "glory" comes down now.
They go into defense mode instead of offense mode. They develop the attitude "let's just hold out til Jesus comes." Instead of reaching out to their community, they pull back and stay inside the safety of their four walls.
They don't reach young families. While the congregation becomes greyer and greyer, the nursery gets quieter and quieter. There are no kids laughing and giggling in the hallway. When you walk in, you think you've entered a retirement home.
They aren't willing to change. Even though their ministry and programs are no longer effective, they continue doing the same things. They've lost touch with the culture.
They aren't willing to meet people where they are. The neighborhood the church is located in is in decline. Instead of moving to a new location in a growing area, they stay put. Or the demographics around them change, but the make up of their congregation does not.
A few families control the church. There is one family or a few families that control the church. They've been in the church for years. They influence everything and do whatever it takes to maintain control. They'd rather see the church die than give up control.
They turn their focus inward. They form a holy huddle. There is no outreach. The baptistry has cobwebs.
They lose their kids and grandkids. The kids who grow up in the church leave and don't return. They either drop out of church completely or start attending a more relevant church.
Lack of leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership. There is no strong, visionary leadership to move the church forward. There is no compelling vision that people rally behind. Leaders are not developed in the church.
Disunity. Arguments over petty issues dominate church business meetings. Ministries are silos that compete for resources. Church splits render the church powerless.
The floor is yours. What are some other reasons why a church goes extinct? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.