Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Why Churches Die

A recent article (A Time to Die: How do -- and should -- churches die?) explores the all too common phenomenon of churches closing their doors. The article points to a lack of effective leadership as the key factor. A series of bad decisions will mark the decline and death of a church.

Quite often a church’s unwillingness to change is identified as the problem, but I have seen churches that have tried every gimmick they could find and, still, failed to grow. Few churches are so resistant to change that they will die.

At a certain point a church will call in a denominational consultant who lead them through some sort of study and make appropriate recommendations. However, once the consultant leaves, the church is still left with the same leadership.

Churches in decline need to seek a pastor with strong leadership skills and a track record for improving situations. Pastors who want to help churches transition need to develop leadership skills. The kinds of skills that help you diffuse tense situations, manage resources well, motivate people to act, and make wise choices.

These skills are best acquired in the military or the marketplace. You can’t get them in seminary because they require practice and experience. Seminars and books will provide technique and a good mentor and/or peer group can serve as a substitute for experience.

Living Springs Church of San Antonio will host a conference for leaders of churches in transition and new church starts on March 26-28. I will be speaking on the first night,

Click here for more information about the “It’s Time” conference.

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