Statistics have been pretty clear over the years that the percentage of Americans attending church is on the decline. In fact, around 90% of all churches in America are either not growing or declining. Whether these pastors want to admit it or not, they’re stuck.
There are a variety of reasons why this seems to be happening.
Some small town churches have suffered because the people in their communities are moving to bigger cities.
Some of it is because kids activities are now spilling over into Sundays.
Some people are traveling more.
And some people just don’t see the value in attending church anymore.
With all of these reasons, it would be easy to make excuses, and I have been guilty of making some myself.
But the truth is, Pastor, it has a lot more to do with you, and a lot less to do with what’s going on around you.
Here are 5 Reasons Your Church is Stuck.
- You Don’t Believe it’s Possible
Again, I have to plead guilty. When you’re doing ministry in a small town, it can be easy to make excuses, but as the saying goes, you can make progress or you can make excuses, but you can’t make both. The truth is if you don’t believe something can happen, you’ll prove it can’t. Many of us have convinced ourselves that growth isn’t possible.
- You Refuse to Change Your Structure
Structure is probably the number one reason most churches are stuck. If your church is still allowing everyone to vote on every decision, you’ll never grow past where you are now. Similarly, if you have a board that wants to micromanage instead of oversee the ministry, I hope you’re happy where you are. How you are structured determines how much you can grow.
- You’re Keeping People You Should Have Let Go
People who have positions, volunteer or paid, hold influence in your church. The smaller the church, the more influence they will hold. One of the biggest mistakes pastors make is leaving a person in a position they’re not qualified for. You can only extend grace for so long, and then you have to let them go. Otherwise they will poison your church.
- You’re Setting the Wrong Type of Goals
Or you’re not setting goals at all, which I think is the case for a lot of churches. The great thing about not having goals is you never fail. The bad thing is you also never win. Goals should be measurable and defined. Also, don’t just concentrate on outcomes like attendance and giving. It’s hard to control those things. Focus on things you can control that will result in the outcomes you’re hoping for.
- You Don’t Believe in Yourself
I think all of us lack confidence from time to time. Even the most confident pastors can struggle with anxiety and depression at times. But we should never doubt that Christ is with us and through Him we can do all things. Even those things that seem impossible.
Is your church stuck? If so, what do you think the problem is? Let us know in the comments, and if I can help in anyway please shoot me an email. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get updates on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.
2 thoughts on “5 Reasons Your Church is Stuck”
Pastor Emil VH Kerekes
How can you let somebody go? The last 5-10 Year’s of their life is dedicated to that without great results but still as a pastor you feel you have to make some changes?
It’s one of the hardest things you’ll do as a pastor. In my time as an Executive Pastor I’ve only had to let part time employees go. Never a full time yet. One of the biggest decisions we had to make was letting our worship leader go a few years ago. He had a desire to be full time and we knew he wasn’t the right person for where our church was trying to go. It hurt, but it was the right decision. Thanks for the comment.