If your ministry and your church finds its greatest kingdom effectiveness within a smaller setting, you’re not stuck, you’re strategic.
A Church Is Stuck If It Is:
1) Small By Mistake
Let’s face it. Some churches are small because (I hate to say it) they stink.
They’re doing so many things wrong, it’s a wonder anyone attends.
If your church is small because you’re not paying attention to mistakes that need fixing, you’re not strategic, you’re stuck.
2) Small By Exclusion
Very few churches exclude people on purpose. But that makes no difference to the people who feel excluded.
But some churches actually do exclude people on purpose. They have a mistaken theology that is overly restrictive (hello modern-day Pharisees!). They make an issue of things that don’t matter. Then they use their smallness as “proof” that they live in a sinful age in which no one wants to hear the real Gospel that only they are preaching.
They are the righteous remnant. At least in their eyes.
If your church is small because it excludes people based on petty issues, you’re not strategic, you’re stuck.
3) Frozen In Time
No, a church doesn’t need to be filled with hipsters to be fresh and strategic. But too many churches seem more like they’d be comfortable with the way things were 50 or 500 years ago than today.
You can honor the past and still move into the future. The Bible, after all, is almost 2,000 years old and it’s more relevant today than ever.
Most of the beautiful, ornate church buildings in Europe are little more than museums today. But I’ve also been in some gothic-era cathedrals filled with people of all ages and backgrounds, worshipping with a band to the latest chorus, followed by a John Wesley hymn played on their ancient pipe organ.
Honoring your traditions doesn’t mean being stuck in the methods of a bygone ‘good old days’ that probably weren’t so good to begin with.
If your church elevates traditions over making whatever changes are needed to fulfill the Great Commission, you’re not strategic, you’re stuck.
4) Looking Less Like the Community Around You
Many stuck churches look like their community. The community the way it was when the church was built, that is.
No, I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t be set apart from the sinful practices of our community. We are called to be a holy people. And holy means different.