The Decline in the Church is Reversable

Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal mega church in ...

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 By Lupe Diaz – Pastor Grace Chapel
Copyright August 2011

A Trend of Decline

There is a measurable decline in attendance and in what the church believes in today. George Barna recently reported on the trends of the church for the past twenty years. He measured religions activities and beliefs in the church. See www.georgebarna.com . In his five-part report he covers the religious activities and beliefs held by age, ethnicity and gender. The church across the nation is in a decline. What surprised me was the decline in women volunteers in the church.

There is one exception to this decline. In churches of 600+ members; they are showing growth and stability. This was true in religious activities; although, this is not true in what we believe. Christians are becoming tolerant to the point of letting Christian values slide. Larger churches show a stable attendance and growth in church activity across the generational lines. The Builder, the Boomer, the Busters are all enjoying a larger church experience. This means that the 600 + church is showing growth rather than decline.

That number seems to be the breaking point for spiritual growth and the ability to hold its gains. 600+ in attendance is a worthy goal. The church’s mission must be, first and foremost, to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), to serve those that come to church for the first time and see to it that there is an environment for the people to grow.

You need to read this article by George Barna. Related article: 
http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituality/506-barna-describes-religious-changes-among-busters-boomers-and-elders-since-1991

Life cycles of Growth

As the church emphasizes numerical and spiritual growth it will evaluate everything it does and bring about new ways to do things. In many cases this means a culture change. It must realize that it will go through life cycles or a series of resurrections. People get comfortable with status quo. They will question the leadership and direction of the ministry.

The leaders of the church must realize that this is a natural response.
When a church signs up to grow they have a job on their hands. The leadership must prepare as many as possible for what comes next.

Communication is not only accomplished with the various media but also with the lives of the leaders. Remember our lives are like a book read by all. We are epistles written in the spirit.

2 Corinthians 3: 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

People watch their leaders and the influencers in the church for attitude and support toward the mission and the direction of the church. They notice what the leaders say with their lives. They will respond to the way the influencers in the church respond.

Decline is reversible.

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