Why Some Churches Don’t Grow

In this post on church growth, I am not addressing church growth necessarily from the numbers standpoint. I want to approach it from the aspects of people within that body of believers growing spiritually, active in serving, etc. Some of these facts will be what I observed personally within my own ministry contexts.

  1. Churches do not grow when power struggles exist. I have seen and experienced times when an individual or group of individuals wanted my position and thought they could do a better job. Groups hold secret meetings about the pastor without the pastor because they are “concerned” (obviously not about the pastor or his family). People love power. This is nothing new. The devil is who he is today because he thought he could be better than God. The apostles had those in the early church who wanted to be top dog. Pride does go before a fall, and God will not bless a body of believers who exalt Jesus with their lips while their lives contradict it.
  2. Churches do not grow when sin is tolerated. Read Joshua 7. The Israelites thought they had the battle in the bag but lost because there was “sin in the camp”. When sin is dominant, especially among leadership, God will not put His stamp of approval on a church that parades people on stage who sin and don’t care. Holiness should not be compromised in order to bring in people.
  3. Churches do not grow when programs take precedence over the Lord Jesus Christ. I know many who have “churchianity”. They are not passionate about worship, Scripture, prayer, or anything of substance. I will never understand someone who says he or she is “saved” and never talk about how good the Lord is.

What have you seen in your experience? I would love to hear what you would add to the list.

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7 thoughts on “Why Some Churches Don’t Grow

  1. In my experience, if there is not a strong vision cast from a strong leader that is sold out to Jesus’ mission for the church, then it simply will not grow.

    Not incorporating people into community and serving will also start the clock ticking for window leave. It’s usually around six months and they’ll be gone or institutionalized, which is actually worse.

    If the church refuses to evangelize and pray then it will ultimately fall in on itself.

    Great post bro!

  2. I have seen those three. I am a member of the ‘rich’ church. The church has two nicknames in the community – the rich church and the gym with a church attached. We joined the same day that a banker’s will went to probate, giving the church $15 million. (My thought ever since has been why didn’t he give the money away in his lifetime, and how did he make so much?) The power struggle you mentioned immediately started. Then the church expanded, adding a multipurpose room, which is now called the gym. Yet, many left over the money fight, with others replacing them – those attracted to the money. Yet, the church is poor. Giving is down because the banker’s estate could pay for it. (The church only draws off interest each year, and the mortgage on the expansion takes that up.) What I could add to your list is a church that focuses on the finances does not grow – whether the church has plenty or not enough to pay for custodian care of their expanded building. Funny, I once joined a church in Washington state and was handed a duty roster (military style) showing me when it was my family’s weekend to clean the church.

  3. I might add that the believers in a church won’t grow spiritually if there aren’t some small groups where meaningful study of scripture takes place, such as good Sunday School classes, a Bible study group that meets one night a week, etc. Christian communion is so important, and in the context of a smaller group, individuals start learning, opening up, etc.

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