The Most Common Factor in Declining Churches

An inward focus leads to church decline, here are some related symptoms

“The most common factor in declining churches is an inward focus. The ministries are only for the members. The budgetary funds are used almost exclusively to meet the needs of the members. The times of worship and worship styles are geared primarily for the members. Conflict takes place when members don’t get things their way. You get the picture.”

 

In Wednesday’s post, I focused on seven very practical habits of churches that have an outward focus. I am honored and humbled to be in a place where I get to hear from and study about thousands of churches. The leaders and congregants in those churches provide me with incredible information and data. I am grateful, because I’m not smart enough to understand these issues on my own.

As God has allowed me to study congregations for more than 25 years, I began to see a common pattern in churches that had become outwardly focused. You read some of the practical steps these churches have taken in the earlier post.

The Most Common Factor

Conversely, though, I also can see a simple but profound pattern among the declining churches.

Stated simply, the most common factor in declining churches is an inward focus.

The ministries are only for the members. The budgetary funds are used almost exclusively to meet the needs of the members. The times of worship and worship styles are geared primarily for the members. Conflict takes place when members don’t get things their way. You get the picture.

Warning Symptoms

After studying and consulting with thousands of churches, I began to see clearly this pattern. Even more, I began to recognize symptoms of an inward focus. See if you recognize a few of these.

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