What are the signs your church might die?
Why are so many churches dying?
In this episode, blogger, podcaster and Lifeway CEO Thom Rainer outlines why so many churches fail to thrive.
Welcome to Episode 36 of the Podcast.
Guest Links: Thom Rainer
I Will – Releases July 15, 2015
Links Mentioned in this Episode
3 Things You Can Do Right Away
Thom says that only 10 percent of churches are growing faster than the community growth rate, and to keep up with cultural changes, churches should revisit their strategy every 2-3 years. You don’t have to compromise Biblical truths to accommodate culture shifts, but we do need to understand that the times in which we live and the pace of culture changes fast.
- Have outside eyes. Not every church can hire a third-party company to perform an audit of their organization. But you could ask another pastor of the community, an outside family member or anyone who can see the church from a vantage point other than daily or weekly. Erosion is slow. You’re not going to notice it in the first couple of years, but over time, the effects will become evident.
- Keep honest metrics. Facts are our friends if they’re used well. Use numbers to find out where you’re going and where you want to be. Thom used the analogy of stepping on a scale. We avoid scales because we don’t want to see the numbers, but you’re not going to make the changes you need to make if you don’t have that test of reality. Don’t deny the reality of the metrics.
- Examine your budget. Look at your budget from five years ago, and look at it today. Then, ask these questions: How much of our budget is growing externally, and how much of it is used for our membership? You want your budget to take care of the members, but dying churches have a monetary shift away from external uses and then to internal uses. Are you using funds to draw people to your church, or are you only taking care of your own? In many cases, Thom says churches have become religious country clubs. The members pay their dues, and they get their perks for that instead of serving God through the church. What happens is that more of a church budget is focused on them, and fewer resources go toward growth. What is your church doing beyond itself, and how is that measured in dollars?
Quotes from Thom
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Next Episode: Chris Rivers
How do you make sure your team stays aligned with your mission and vision? Chris Rivers’s job at New Spring Church in South Carolina was to teach new staff New Spring’s culture.
The challenge was they were adding up to ten new staff per WEEK. Chris explains how they did it, and what you need to do to keep your team aligned.
Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 37.
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