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  • Writer's pictureJeff Kent

What Will Kill a Church?

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

            Churches can die.  In fact, many are dying these days.  Various “stages” of church growth and decline have been documented by those who study such things.  A church is not like a person who is given so many years to live.  A church can continue to live and thrive as long as it has the Spirit of Christ, but the Spirit can be lost from a congregation, and it will begin to fade and eventually die off.  What will kill a church?   The New Testament letters include many warnings about what might cause a church to wither and die.  Here are a few.

            The loss of love for God will kill a church.  This was the problem with the church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:4).  Their Lord was no longer their passion.  Churches can develop a passion for things other than Jesus - a passion for success; a passion for getting everything perfect; a passion for looking good in the community.  There are others.  Whenever anything other than love for God is the driving force of a church, it will begin to die.

            Tradition can kill a church.  Every church has traditions - yes, they do.  Traditions are not necessarily wrong, but when holding to traditions becomes more important to a church than making the necessary changes to more effectively accomplish the will of God, a church will start to die.

            Pride will kill a church.  When a church begins to believe that whatever it has accomplished has been done by its own hard work, skillful planning and resourcefulness, that church will begin to wither.

            Poor leadership will kill a church.  When the elders, deacons, and minister have no vision for growth and are not leading, shepherding, teaching, and serving as the Lord directs, then that church will start to perish.

            Overt sin which is not scripturally dealt with will kill a church.

            Apathy in the members will kill a church.

            Fear of failure will kill a church.

            What will cause a church to thrive and prosper?  Love Christ.  Teach the Word.  Obey the Word.  Each member does their part.  Proclaim the gospel.  Pray a lot.  Trust God.

                                                                        ><>  Jeff

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