Monday, June 07, 2010


American churches are in a sensitive bind; we are stuck and don't know how to get unstuck.

It is more common than not that churches of all brands are not only not growing, they are shrinking.  Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Church of Christ, Christian....many churches are stymied and the solution doesn't seem to be easy.

Those who are still attending struggling congregations yearn for the good ol' days when recollection verifies that these same places were thriving.  The stumper is such members are dying off and the new generation doesn't care for the good ol' days.  If the younger generation happens to get their way, the older ones will be offended and leave.

So here churches sit....stuck.  Understandably the wish of the current (yet fading) few is that young people will come along and take the worn baton.  But the younger ones just aren't going to reach for it. 

So there you have it.  A choice has to be made.  Keep it the way it has been and die.  Or, allow creativity to enter and learn to adapt at an old age to a new trend.  Few can do this, but it is being done and will work.

All of us either live in this zone or rub elbows with others who do.

I think a solution to all of it is to love God.....really.  Instead, love for God has taken a back seat to loving the church system to operate the way we love the church system to operate.  And yes, we each have definitive verses to stand upon for our hearts' particular desires.  However in this maze of dos and don'ts, can but won'ts, the body of Christ is suffering; not only from low budgets but equally from inability to budge it. 

Opinions are voiced and preferences battle, but the church Jesus is building struggles to breathe because we have overridden God's involvement by reducing kingdom life to our "favorites".

There is hope for every kind of church if we will each shed our sacred cows which cause more stumbling than surviving.  God is not stumped; we are.  God knows how to part the Dread Sea of complacency.  May we grow in Him enough to step aside so He might heal the church and what ails it.


Stoogelover said...

You just have a way to say exactly what needs to be said and from a heart of love and passionate concern for the Lord. Love you, brother!

Mindy Pittman said...

The amazing thing about the church is it is a powerful, global, unstoppable force! Governments can't stop it, the economy can't stifle it, and even persecution of it's people can't derail it! Our decision is whether we want to get in the game or remain on the bench. Thks for encouraging others to get on board w what God is doing in His church today. The church has and always will prevail!

Shane said...

Terry, I have an honest question to ask and want you to know beforehand that it is asked completely in love.

Do you think that it is possible that the reason these denominations are shrinking instead of growing is a direct result of God answering the prayers of the past -- from those who remember "The good 'ole days" -- that God would strengthen and revive the church?

In other words, when they were praying, is this what they were asking for and just didn't realize it?

Does this question make sense?

Terry Rush said...


It makes sense to me. I have wondered about similar ideas.

I think is it right to consider this possibility.