Some things aren't that complicated.
Many churches in America are troubled.
10+ churches close their doors for good/bad/ugly every day.
The diagnosis and prescription aren't that complicated.
Troubled churches have not been loving Jesus by loving like Jesus.
Churches get better when they start loving Jesus by loving like Jesus.
Blessings and Love!
This write-up on survey results from over 1,000 churches over 12 years might be one of the more definitive studies out there. http://sites.silaspartners.com/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID34418_CHID137699_CIID2335848,00.html
Of the 3,348 people who felt forced to leave a church, the statistics are very illuminating. Sixty-one percent (61 %) of people left their last church because of a conflict with another member resulting from gossip or strife that would not stop, was not true, or was not properly dealt with. They also marked a lack of hospitality and a lack of Bible teaching as their second or third reason.
The largest majorities in the congregation saw these things as important from a pastor or church leader:
• Seventy-eight percent (78%) felt that the ability to teach the Bible effectively is important.
• Sixty-five percent (65%) felt that the ability to show the kindness of the church to children and youth is important.
• Sixty-one percent (61%) felt that the ability to model authentic faith and character for the church is important.
• Fifty-nine percent (59%) felt that the ability to offer caring and helpful guidance to members in need is important.
In contrast, the pastor or significant church leaders saw these things as their most important roles:
• Eighty-two percent (82%) felt that the ability to cast a convincing vision for the church is important.
• Seventy-eight percent (78%) felt that the ability to develop confidence within the church is important.
• Fifty-nine percent (59%) felt that the ability to bring harmony and contentment in the church is important.
• Fifty-seven percent (57%) felt that the ability to encourage the church in effective stewardship is important.
Not once, did any of these results specifically say “be like Jesus.” In fact, NONE of the results even mentioned Jesus. And they wonder why their churches fail?
Thanks, my faithful friend!
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