Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

Church Challenges Within Culture

Some congregations enjoy successful ministries today, while many others do not. The successful ones draw people, others only repel them. These successful congregations enjoy growth. Other congregations only decline.

Why this radical contrast? The notable notable difference? Why are some churches effective and growing? Why are others congregations ineffective and non-growing? While there is no one answer to offer, there are a number of recognized symptoms that serve to block a congregations influence. Here are some of the notable symptoms that are often highlighted to portray struggling congregations.

  • These fellowships form a certain club mentality. In this context, certain members become the major focus and concern. Keeping these individuals happy and satisfied becomes the ultimate and ongoing goal.
  • Red tape decision making is followed. Nothing can be done unless it has passed numerous control procedures. Individuals in these congregations are afraid to do anything in lieu of the existing red tape. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is replaced by a lot of time-consuming and official decision making.
  • Internal fussing and feuding is ongoing. Sometimes this becomes so severe that members choose to leave. Even those who attend a church from outside will avoid it like the plague. This practice of fussing and feuding is fueled by focusing on us in place of God and others.
  • The unwillingness of a church to get out of ruts. Things are done the same way without any alterations. Any attempt at doing something different takes these congregations out of their comfort zone and they are avoided. They believe it isn’t of God if you change things. These congregations wish to grow, but are unwilling to change their ways in order to experience a turnaround and growth.
  • Public worship is more dead than upbeat. The music is traditional and overly ritualistic. The spirit and attitude in the services lacks enthusiasm. Formality is their posture. Most everything follows an order and is highly predictable from week to week. Such fellowships need to cease doing things because this is the way the church has always done them.
  • Members are more into sitting than they are serving. They become more of a number on the attendance board, than fulfilling a God-given ministry based on their abilities/gifts. When persons are not serving they will shrivel up and die. Congregations are often guilty of killing people spiritually by their dead and formal nature.
  • Congregations need to enlarge their base. Offer more opportunities that will enhance spiritual growth and development. When you widen your base of opportunities, an enlargement of ┬áministry takes place.
  • Move beyond simply fulfilling what is normally expected. Engage in going the second mile. Disarm the critics. Mobilize your church in an accelerated fashion. Add new things to your otherwise traditional schedule.
  • Create the biblical attitude of giving in place of receiving. Our consumer society has led to the thinking that the church exists to do the same cultural things. When this happens, congregations fall into the trap of entertainment in place of enlarging spiritual experiences on the Christian journey. When giving is replaced by receiving, we lose sight of kingdom actions.

Much in congregational practice today is guided more by churchianity than it is by Christianity. As a result, congregations will always seek to resemble their culture more than they do Christ. Spiritual health emerges and energizes a congregation when it moves toward freeing itself from the existing cultural forms of church practice that have been enslaving it and nullifying an effective ministry for Christ.

January 6, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment