So how relevant is your church?

Any idea how you’d answer that accurately?

You can debate how important relevance is all day long (and many do), but the truth is irrelevant churches make almost no impact on the community around them.

Why is that?

Because relevance determines impact—that’s why.

Relevance gains you a hearing. It determines whether or not people pay attention to you or whether they ignore you.

By all accounts, most churches appear to be losing relevance.

Before you push back, just because the Gospel is always relevant doesn’t mean you are.

Even growing churches can lose relevance. Your past success doesn’t guarantee your future success.

In fact, as we’ve discussed here more than a few times, the great enemy of your future success is your current success because your success makes you conservative.

When you had nothing to lose, change was easy. Now that you have something to lose, change is that much harder.

So whether your church has no momentum or whether it’s losing steam, here are 5 signs your church is becoming irrelevant.

1. You increasingly think most new ideas are bad ideas

Hey, it’s easy to resist new ideas. But if you think back, there was a time when you were likely far more open to new ideas.

Now you’re older and wiser, and you’ve got a way of doing things.

The human mind is great at preserving the status quo. You can think of 10 reasons why a new idea won’t work, and you and your team never hesitate to list them.

The leadership graveyard is filled with the bodies of leaders who say “We haven’t done it that way before.”

Not every new idea is a great idea, but embracing no new ideas is a terrible idea.

When was the last time you embraced a radical new idea? If you can’t answer that question, you’re already in trouble.

2. The copyright dates on your music are from another era

You can argue about church decor all day long, or about the less tangible aspects of church life, but few things give away a church’s true age than the copyright dates on the music it sings.

Many churches will embrace change to an extent, and then they stop.

Many churches think they’re relevant and current. After all, they have a band, not a choir. They have screens, not books.

But dig a little deeper and most songs they sing were written somewhere between 2002-2012. In other words, they froze a few years ago.

The danger here is that they think they’re being relevant, but they really aren’t. The truly new songs, they’ll tell you, are too long, too non-melodious, too weird to sing.

Besides, our people love the songs we sing because they know them.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with singing older songs, but if all the copyright dates are older, it’s a sign that you’re actually not that relevant.

You’re in no man’s land. You’re too contemporary to be traditional, and too traditional to be contemporary.

And the gap between you and culture is growing wider every day.

3. Everyone on your team is your age

This isn’t so much a problem if you’re twenty-two and just starting out. To have a young leadership team of idealistic people is an awesome thing.

Sure, some wisdom wouldn’t hurt, but still, the world often gets changed by young leaders on a mission.

But what happens is that twenty-year-olds eventually turn 30. Fast forward a bit, and everyone on your senior leadership team is in their mid-fifties.

That’s a big issue.

Left uncorrected, churches tend to age with their leader.

As a leader in my early fifties, I’ve had to be incredibly intentional about surrounding myself with leaders in their 20s and 30s, something that really energizes me.

You may not have the chemistry or familiarity with younger leaders that you do with your peers who have been through life with you, but renewing the leadership table with younger leaders is critical.

It’s easy for older leaders to think that younger leaders are too young to lead.

You were too, once. And someone took a chance on you anyway. And you did some of your best work then too, didn’t you?

4. Change makes you tired

Change is difficult at the best of times, but if even the sound of change makes you tired, it’s a sign that you’re becoming irrelevant.

It’s normal to default to the status quo. We all do.

Last year, my dentist told me I needed at least five crowns. The thought of that made me feel tired and broke all at once.

I got a bit of the work done but then took a break.

One afternoon I was eating some cereal and I noticed something that didn’t feel like cereal in my mouth. It was half a molar.

Guess where I went the next day?

Too often, that’s exactly how we approach change in the church. We wait until something breaks, and then we’ll try to fix it.

That may work with a tooth, but it’s a terrible strategy for churches (okay, and for dentistry).

In our rapidly changing culture, waiting until something breaks to fix is one of the fastest ways to ensure you become irrelevant.

If change makes you tired, I promise you, the slow death of your church will make you even more tired.

5. Your dominant emotions toward the culture are negative

If social media is any gauge of how many Christian leaders feel about our culture, the church is in trouble.

And even if you’re not posting on your social media is ALL CAPS, telling the world how bad it is, your attitude still matters.

Negativity leaks.

Constantly criticizing a culture is no way to reach it.

I am constantly reminded that Jesus loved the world. He saw the mess, the brokenness, the godlessness and embraced us anyway.

Jesus loved the world enough to die for it.

You should care enough about the world to do the same.

Some Help

I talk to many leaders who use posts like this one to walk their staff or boards through the issues they’re facing.

I’ve designed two resources to help even more.

My book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Can Help Your Church Grow has helped over 25,000 leaders navigate the cultural change we’re experiencing today.

You can pick up the book here. I’ve also developed a video series designed to facilitate team discussion on the issues I cover in the book.

If You’d Love to Reach More People in 2020…

 

So you would love to see your church grow in 2020, but the question is how? 

Naturally, I can’t make a church grow and you can’t make a church grow. Only God can do that.

But I believe you can position your church to grow. You can knock down the barriers that keep you from growing. You can eliminate the things that keep your church from growing and implement some strategies that will help you reach far more people.

That’s what I’d love to help you do in the Church Growth Masterclass.  

The Church Growth Masterclass is designed to help you jumpstart a stuck church, or help your growing church reach even more people. 

It’s everything I wish I knew about church growth when I got into ministry more than 20 years ago.

In the Church Growth Masterclass you’ll learn:

  • The 10 reasons your church isn’t growing
  • Why even committed church-goers aren’t attending as often as before
  • How to tell if your church leaders are getting burned out
  • The five keys to your church better impacting millennials.
  • What to do when a church wants to grow … but not change
  • 5 essentials for church growth
  • 5 disruptive church trends to watch—and how to respond
  • How to increase church attendance by increasing engagement.

You can learn more and gain instant access to the course today.

Really hoping 2020 is a year of growth and impact for you and your church!

What Do You Think?

What do you see as signs of relevance or irrelevance?

Scroll down and leave a comment!

5 Signs Your Church Is Becoming Irrelevant

41 Comments

  1. Dave Z on November 21, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    Good article Carey. I agree with all the point, especially that change makes me tired. But it’s essential, so we do it. Actually, we find younger people to do it.

    I’d differ a bit with the points on music. The younger people in our church like older music, even hymns. They’re too young to remember the worship wars so they don’t come with a bias against older music. They like the history. However, we also know some of them are listening to Christian radio, so we introduce new music as well, songs they’d be familiar with from radio. As a musician, I like both.

    Pre-COVID, we had two services – one “traditional,” one “Contemporary.” We are now meeting again and we made both services the same (except for volume). Blended worship. That was once a dirty word – a sure way to make everyone unhappy, but our people are embracing it. We just try to be respectful toward each group.

  2. Debbie on November 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Copyright dates for worship music are not the issue for relevance. Worship in Spirit and truth is. People know when they are part of something real, even if it’s not flashy or up to the minute. For the record, we have quite a range of styles and decades and centuries represented in our worship, and we are mindful of that, but date of publication is far from our greatest filter. Our contemporary music often comes from less well-known composers and artists who get the message right and whose style lends itself to congregational music.

    And for small churches, finding young leaders who have both the gifting for leadership and the time to commit to the tasks of leadership is challenging. Our best young adults are overwhelmed with raising families and managing careers (to the glory of God) especially during this pandemic. We’re being creative at ways to get their voices into our thinking and planning, but every year when it’s time to identify new leaders, we keep running into the same problem. There might be a reason leaders in scripture are called “elders.”

  3. Pastor Bev Sesink on November 21, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Certainly a word to the wise. Since Covid – 19 hit we have added four full and part time members to our church’s pastoral/technical/management team. Finances were in place prior but we hadn’t filled the positions. All of these new team members are males and females under 30 years of age and have certainly brought down the average age of our team. Our senior pastoral team of three is 55, 62, and 65 so we’re all on the older side but the younger folk are giving us a good run for our money. We’re even going to have an only online Christmas service which is quite a stretch for us but our older group of church elders gave the green light. We’ve been looking for a good younger pastor to eventually transition into the lead role but finding such individuals is not as easy as we had hoped.

  4. mike v on November 21, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I appreciate your heart to help church leaders Carey I really do.
    I’m gonna be honest though. As soon as we got 3 weeks into Covid. I shut you off. I have alway enjoyed the conversations on the podcast and I believe you are sincere. In this hour the corporate strategies of men will not prevail. The Days of trying to implement anything from Northpoint/Lifechurch/Elevation are done. The Church in America is being sifted. Are the doors are shutting because of cultural Irrelevance? Sure. The doors are being shut because we are trying to accomplish in the flesh what was born in The Spirit. We need a revival not more marketing. I knew three weeks in to this that every pastor in the world needs to get on their face and cry out to God for what to do in their context. The church growth manuals and the growth track and all of it were not producing real disciples of Jesus Christ that effect the world around them. We weren’t changing the culture. We were just celebrating when a room was full and a few water baptisms.
    We should share and help each other. We should look to each other for encouragement pastors.. but in this hour friends, we need to fast, we need to pray, we need to cry out to know Jesus. We need to cry out for awakening, Like Wales, Like The Hebrides, Like the 1st and 2nd Great awakening. If better programming, better preaching, better music, better lighting, better resources, better content, better conferences and better buildings was going to reach the nations it would have by now. We need God to come. Praying for pastors like me everywhere…unqualified, untrained, and undone who have given their lives to the local church who just can’t read another blogpost about how to improve the livestream and the service flow while the world burns. It feels like discussing song selection for the musicians on the deck of titanic. I’ll borrow from EM BOUNDS.. “What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer.”

    • Mark Schollaert on November 21, 2020 at 9:36 am

      after 37 years of pastoral experience on two continents and in three countries and with respect and love. I totally agree with you both. but different than you Mike V, I did not shut Carey off. to the contrary, I’ve used his blog and podcasts to help keep me thinking and ministering while on my face as you say. One of my mentors once asked me what I did once I got up from my prayer times for awakening and revival (awakening = salvations; revival = believers returning to fellowship) or in other words, what type of feet did I put to my prayers. to see fruit with one you have to “go and preach in some form” for the other you have to “gather and share”. Through FaceBook, Instagram, Zoom, emails, phone calls, cards and letter, social distancing etc we’ve seen people come to Christ and return to Christ, even added to our small congregation during these 9 months. Thanks Carey for doing with your whole heart what you believe God has called you to do. many of us, regardless of age, are listening and gleaning encouragement. Mike V, I promise I’ll add you to my private prayer list, that your face time increases your feet time.

      • Edmund Chan on November 22, 2020 at 8:06 pm

        Thanks MARK, for your gracious, thoughtful response to Mike. Yes, Face-Time before the Lord and Feet-Time for the Lord are both important!

        And thanks MIKE for your passionate sharing! I am touched. I deeply resonate with what you wrote!

        But like Mark, WHILE SEEKING THE LORD, I don’t switch off to what others like CAREY are saying about leadership as well.

        (Thanks, Carey for your labour of love!)

        Here’s my own journey. It was 2:30am. Tuesday morning. 22nd March 2019. I couldn’t sleep. At 3:30am. I was still wide awake.

        I took the opportunity of the sleeplessness to pray. To surrender myself afresh to God. And to recall Scriptures I’d memorized, meditating on them in the dark.

        Then serendipitously, the Holy Spirit filled me with an INDESCRIBABLE JOY – and wonderfully, three key passages of Scriptures came afresh to me in a powerful way!

        Three verses. Three life-changing reminders!

        1. Ezra 7:10 –
        HIS WORD – MY DEFINING COMMITMENT!

        “For Ezra had set his heart TO STUDY the Law of the LORD, and TO DO it and TO TEACH His statutes and rules in Israel.”

        That I might DISCOVER God’s Word, DO God’s Word, and to DISCIPLE others in it. God help me!

        2. Ephesians 5:18 –
        HIS SPIRIT – MY DEFINING RELIANCE!

        “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.”

        The Spirit-filled, God-directed life. That’s to be my defining RELIANCE! In the final analysis, it’s not my determination but my dependence that matters! God help me!

        3. Mark 10:45 –
        HIS WILL – MY DEFINING PURPOSE!

        “For EVEN the Son of Man came not to be served but TO SERVE, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

        The question is, “To serve what?”.

        The answer is given in the immediate context. To serve the WILL OF GOD – the chief of which was “to give His life as a ransom for many”!

        The will of the Father. That’s to be my defining PURPOSE!

        God’s Truth. God’s Spirit. God’s Will.
        My Commitment. My Reliance. My Purpose!

        May we do God’s WORD, in the power of God’s SPIRIT, to fulfil God’s WILL for our life!

        That’s why your emphasis on Face-Time and Feet-Time resonates with me, Mark!

        Shalom.

    • Forrest Sprague on November 21, 2020 at 9:43 am

      Well said Mike. I wonder if God is using COVID to purge the universal Church of the showmen and for building up the Church with strongmen.

    • Dave D on November 21, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Carey, these points are so true and always have been. As you have always said, the message never changes, yet the methods must. This too has always been true, and others have said this as well.

      It still strikes me as odd that people, and that’s all we are no matter our tenure or degrees in ministry, get hung up on minor stuff. It almost always boils down to preferences and not Gospel. The music, decor, dress, etc are preferences and they must appeal to those who don’t know the truth of God’s Word because face it folks that’s why we do what we do. If we have done it right those 99 will take care of one another, but that lost one needs to be found. If singing more modern praises gets her to the foot of the cross, I’m game. If updating the stage for live streaming brings him to a saving knowledge of Christ, why wouldn’t I?

      We were never commissioned to seek and save the people who think as we do. They would already be saved if that were the case, wouldn’t they?

    • larry collins on November 21, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      Exactly Mike— thanks

  5. Lisa on February 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    I strongly disagree with the worship of a specific musical genre and era. Stereotyping musical preference based on age or anything else is based in prejudice, not fact. If it’s not authentic to the training of musicians in a congregation, one runs the risk of destroying gifts given by God and carefully honed to be raised in praise of God and in God’s service. (Ex – Vocal pedagogy degrees at some schools have specific courses designed to combat vocal destruction). And some younger people are responding to things like chant and and older styles to the point they are attending more liturgical churches, or joining groups that sing shaped note music. The music of Hildegard von Bingen has had a resurgence in places Music should not ever be an either or, but a yes – and! Celebrate this gifts being honed in you congregations rather than encouraging them to hide their lights under a bushel! Celebrate all the gifts and talents God has given us!

  6. Deborah on February 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. It is worth implementation.

  7. Audrey on February 1, 2020 at 10:01 am

    I enjoyed reading your article and all its comments! Thank you for your thoughts! The value of this article is in the questions it raises. It is an invitation for any church to consider where they are at in the spectrum of change, how they are making the Gospel clear and how they are having real conversations to meet real needs. I do agree with a lot of your observations.
    I think many Christians are stuck in a place of criticism towards our culture and towards change. This is detrimental to our testimony which should be about making much of Christ.

  8. Esther on October 29, 2019 at 11:57 am

    For me, The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and their marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. As so church is only relevant to me by teaching the true word of God and offering true fellowship. Period!!

  9. Daniel Wire on August 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Many churches in America have become irrelevant. The question is, what makes it relevant – or not. To me, it would be addressing the cultural questions and challenges head on, rather than ignoring them. Over the last five decades (at least) the big questions of faith were not addressed in church, so parents were not equipped at home. The void in their children was filled by the worldview of the public school curriculum. To make matters worse, many in the church held scripture to be a book of science and redemption. They, in turn, held tenuous doctrines on creation, which led many to think the same of God’s plan of redemption. If the local church does not honestly and compassionately respond to the big questions, someone else will and does. People are still looking for answers. We need to be the place that they find them.

  10. Don on April 30, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Good content but poor proof reading; I found the following errors on your page:
    1.You used 2. twice in your headings and no 4.
    2. In number 5. it reads: 5. Your Dominant Emotions Toward To Culture Are Negative

  11. David Williams on December 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    The need to be relevant has nothing to do with whether or not one is staying true to the gospel. Of course we must stay true to the gospel! BUT we must always be contextualizing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the particular needs of the people who need to be reached. There is a reason why the Reformers insisted on publishing the Bible in the common languages of the people. There is a reason why Charles Wesley wrote a new song every day! (He said he did it because songs get stale so fast!) Richard Baxter recognized the need for relevance asking why, if he knows that his congregation’s greatest addiction is drunkenness, he must be required (by the state church) to preach on covetousness. They all recognized the need to be relevant to the needs of the people.

    Good pastors know the need to be relevant. It’s part of reaching the lost, encouraging the saved and spurring them on to holiness. The difficulty with relevance today is that culture is changing several times within one lifetime instead of once over several lifetimes. It’s hard to keep up with the needs of the people around us. That doesn’t make it less necessary to stay relevant, just harder.

    Thank you for a great article! If anybody reading the article is discouraged about or feels contrary to the need to be relevant, pray for the power of the Spirit to move in you and your church, then cooperate with the Spirit to take steps towards Christ-likeness. Jesus calmed the storm, but the disciples still needed to row to shore. Jesus didn’t “teleport” them there. Pray for the power of the Spirit, then get working on that oar!

  12. Mark Kolbo on December 4, 2017 at 12:50 am

    Perhaps we resemble many of these remarks, but the question I always raise when confronted by an article like this is: “what are you trying to SELL me?”

    • Shay on February 1, 2020 at 8:17 am

      Don’t worry about what he’s “selling” and take a strong look at the points he makes and don’t avoid what the article is trying to say.

  13. Kayra on November 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

    First of all, YOUR church is one thing, GOD’S church is something completely different. None of God’s creatures has the ability to kill his church. Most of this is pretty dumb. Worship should be focused on God/Jesus, not on you and what you want. People don’t come to church for the concert. Some very liturgical churches are bursting at the seams. Age makes you tired. Seeing the culture in it’s sinful totality makes you tired. Maybe constantly reading articles of the 5 to 7 things you need to do is another thing that ruins your church. Make it less about what you do and more about where you focus.

    • Pastor Linda on December 6, 2017 at 3:48 am

      Are there Women Pastors involved here? Do you support Women?

      • Shay on February 1, 2020 at 8:18 am

        Let’s hope so!

  14. Helmut Eisert on November 25, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Helmut Eisert
    Relevancy can be objective and subjective. Hymns and old choruses are very relevant to the older generation. New style of music and songs are relevant to the younger generation. In essence, a church can and will not be relevant as to a person’s desire and need. As the older gerneration is dying off, so is the need of their relevancy. I personally appreciate that there are still churches that know how to blend the old with the new to accommodate both the old and young generation. I, as an older person, am elated with the new songs that have shifted from singing about God to God. Furthermore, while the use of instruments have shifted in today’s worship yet I feel that the quality of worship is absolutely essential. The Bible is admonishing us not to neglect hymns as part of our worship to God. Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16 etc.

  15. Andy Scott on November 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Hey I don’t know if anyone pointed this out yet but you have some numbering issues here. You have 1, 2, 2, 3, 5.

    GREAT POST THOUGH!

    • Josh on November 19, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Correct Number Orders is so 1990’s, All the cool kids just use whatever number for point count.

    • Sam on February 1, 2020 at 10:10 am

      Exactly what I was gonna say, but then I thought I’d be called Boomer!

      • Skip on February 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm

        Ok boomer! …. sorry couldn’t resist, just kidding 🙂
        Re: Culture and relevancy … God is always speaking, through everything, everywhere, if we can listen and have hearts open to His truth. I went to a concert last night [Cory Wong … highly recommend BTW] and during the set he shared some thoughts about life, affirmation of purpose and calling, perseverance, and hope. He is a secular artist but what he shared was truth and that crowd was listening and receiving life. I am one of 7 elders in our church over 1/2 in their 30s, half over 50, we are learning truth from each other and trying to share that truth with our people and community. God never changes, Truth never changes, but the way in which it is delivered and received certainly can, and does. As has been said, “Mission is critical, method is not”. My prayer is that the church can be remaining uncompromising in the truth but creative and relevant in its delivery and engage our culture on every level for Christ and His kingdom. I am 66 and just retired last Friday.

        I’m an elder in our church and went to a concert [Cory Wong] with a couple younger guys from our church

  16. Peter Ofori-Amponsah on November 19, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Sir, your articles are worth deserving to be implemented. Keep posting.

    Peter.

  17. Eddie on November 19, 2017 at 12:23 am

    As hard as it is to hear, I believe there is truth in this article. I understand those who point out the danger in change for change sake and not staying true to the message of the gospel, but I don’t think that’s what you are suggesting. The message of the gospel must always be at the core of all we do. However, as Jesus and Paul modeled for us, we must learn how to meet people with the gospel where they are and be relevant in their lives. Paul said “I have become all things to all people, so that by all possible means, I might save some.” Jesus was the master at connecting with people on their level and we must learn to do the same.

    That being said, there was one point I wanted to comment on: Everyone on Your Team is Your Age – I get the point of what you are saying and I love the part about intentionally developing young leaders. “A young leadership team of idealistic people” CAN be an awesome thing but without the wisdom of experienced leadership and good mentors, what I have observed is that many times it does not go well. The fact that the world is changed by young leaders on mission, doesn’t necessarily mean that all changes are good. The NT tells us that church leaders should not be new converts; leaders need to be mature Christians (regardless of physical age). I believe a church that has ONLY young leaders is a recipe for disaster. There needs to be some harmony on the leadership team that includes the wisdom of years, with the energy and potential of youth.

  18. Bill Cooper on November 18, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    “And the gap between you and culture is growing wider every day.”

    I should hope so.

    I do agree with much of what is in 2, 3 and 5 though.

    But where is number 4?

    A caution though :The wisdom of man does not indicate what God will do – it is only the wisdom of man.

    He can do wonders – we can only offer explanations and comments on things we see dimly.

    The future church leaders will not come from seminaries – they will be from the ranks of the experienced in life and those steeped in God’s presence.

  19. Tammie J on November 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    My husband and I serve in a church like Carey describes. We sing songs that are way outdated yet to some people they are “new”. Songs like “Through it all” by Andre Crouch. If you have to ask who he is then you can understand….

    We’ve been here 3 years and every Sunday is a struggle for me. It’s a KJV preferred church. It’s in the foothills of the mountains in a rural area.

    I read Carey’s articles and want to weep because I wonder if we will ever see any significant changes take place. And I am tired. I’m tired of the same old same old, but I’m also tired of the battles we face when we introduce change…and no one gets on board…and then we wind up doing everything ourselves….

    For those of you criticizing this article…try Living it.

  20. Robert on November 18, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with what Carey says; much of what he says is good for many places, but not all places and all cultures.

    I’m also wondering, where is God’s word in this article? Where is the attribution of growth to the holy spirits movement? Where is the blessing of God? We must be careful not to try to formulate God’s movement like Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8.

  21. Joe on November 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    One of your best articles I’ve seen yet. Relevance does matter.

  22. David on November 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

  23. Norma Tilton on November 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Very good article that I will definitely weigh and pray about. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND CONSULT. It has definitely helped me.

  24. Stephen Nelson on November 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Solid gold! Solid. And gold. Thanks Carey!

  25. Bob on November 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    OK you hooked me on your commercial. What you’re saying may be a good idea but is it a God idea? Too many times pastors make changes without asking God what he wants done. This is very dangerous. If God is in it it will work.I was on staff of a church and they made a drastic change Graham bass Church to a cell Church and today it is no longer effective for the church. At one time they had approximately 30 cells now it’s down to about 12. The people we’re set in their ways and did not want to change. Again what does God want?

    • John Delcamp on February 1, 2020 at 9:17 am

      I am glad someone mentioned that we need to know what God desires for the church that God has planted us in in the community God has placed us. In 2017, we became desperate for change in our church and all the people giving advice were pastors of successful big churches with little to no concept of our church and our community. So the church leadership began seeking God and studying the book of ACTS – the church the God planted. In a nut shell, we found that they did church totally differently that what we were doing church. Some of it because of cultural reasons, and some of it because of principles that God used when starting His church. We also found that the culture of the church was established by “being the church” instead of “doing church.” In 2018, we began to slowly implement some changes to move us towards that model of church, understanding that changing church culture – or any culture for that matter – is difficult and sometimes unless the Holy Spirit makes it happen, it is impossible. The downward attendance trend has stopped and attendance is slowly moving upward and this year we are going on a Acts 2 Journey to seek God and His direction to move us to a new level of conformance with God’s desire for our church. It will take us probably a little more than a year, but then we will begin the journey all over again, to find the next level. Our plan is to do this until we become an Acts 2 church – following the principles of God’s model for His church in the context of our community – the place that God has given us the responsibility to reach for His Kingdom.

  26. Andrew Wakeling on November 16, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Totally irrelevant article,
    For starters if it’s “your” church then yes you’ll have to build it yourself, cos Jesus said I will build My church – and He does.
    The church is made up of living stones and it is God’s Word that brings life not the latest (probably mindless, repetitive, soulish) songs.
    People are saved by the preaching of the Word, it doesn’t need dressing up or to be made relevant to our ‘culture’.
    If you use Walt Disney to get converts don’t be suprised if u end up with mickey mouse christians.
    Why should we take you seriously when you can’t even proof read your own article ?

    • Paul Crowther on November 16, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Having a bad day by any chance Andrew? Cheer up brother, the King of kings is still on the throne!

    • Ryan Rose on November 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      People are actually saved by Faith alone, not the “preaching of the Word”

      This is a very relevant article for churches struggling to grow or slipping into decline. It always makes me laugh when ministers and churches are completely resistant to change, because things that are new must not be of God. What everyone seems to forget is that Jesus didn’t preach from a pulpit, his followers didn’t sit in pews, they didn’t sing “The Old Rugged Cross” and they for certain didn’t where suits, ties and dress shoes.

      So no matter how straight and narrow you may think you are doing it, everything in your church, when compared to the Church in the book of Acts would be perceived as “New,” “Radical” and “mindless.”

      • Ryan Rose on November 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        they didn’t WEAR suites, good grief I can’t type today!
        (not where)

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