Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The church is dying…

dc I drive past it several times a day. It’s a beautiful church - a brick building (I love brick buildings) with a separate large fellowship hall. The church resides on a nice lot in a great part of our town. Very few cars ever enter its paved parking lot. A sign on the front of the glass doors to the sanctuary inform anyone trying to enter that the Sunday service is no longer held in the sanctuary of the church – since there are so few who attend they now meet in the fellowship hall.

Every time I drive past this church there is a sadness that fills me. Why is this church dying? I know little about it other than it is a church with “Memorial” as part of its name. But I wonder why it is dying?

I wonder if it is dying because no one has a vision for it? Perhaps it is dying because the “Memorial” in its  name reveals something about the attitude of those who are a part of the church? Maybe they have viewed their church as a “memorial” to the past and only can see the “good-ole-days” and have never caught a vision for the present? I know that without a vision churches die.

Perhaps it is dying because there is no passion to reach their community. After all, this is a “white church” and it resides in a largely African-American community. If it is anything like most “white churches” in our area not_my_jobAfrican-American’s are not welcomed. I don’t know this to be the case with this church but I do know that I fill my church bus with children from this neighborhood and yet this church apparently makes no effort to reach them. 
Perhaps it is dying because of a lack of willingness of it's members to work? Maybe they have felt that the work of the church was the pastor’s job and any church with this mentality will eventually die. (I’m not even sure if this church currently has a pastor).

Perhaps it is dying because there is little money to keep it going? I wonder if (like in so many churches) those who attend sit on their wallets and refuse to be faithful in their giving? A church can not survive if those who attend do not support it financially.
dying-church-1I wonder if it is dying because those who attend it are dead themselves? Spiritually dead members will cause a church to die!
I don’t know why this particular church is dying but I do know this: a church that is dying is not a church that God is blessing! Our God is the God of life who causes people and churches to live – there is something wrong in a dying church. If those who attend the church would obey God and seek Him their dying church would become a living church!

I don’t know why this church is dying but I do know this: I don’t want to ever be part of a dying church! So, may God help me to have a vision and a passion and be willing to give of myself and of my resources so that whatever church I am a part of won’t be a dying church!

1 comment:

  1. Good words, Jon. I share your heartbeat. Just wrote an editorial along the same lines for the Standard. Keep up the good work.