from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Why Churches Don’t Grow

Church consultant Bill Tenny-Brittian has a very good article on the top five reasons churches don’t grow. I found the number one reason quite interesting.

“Worship Services that aren’t Worth Shouting About. Your church can be “sinless” in each of the previous categories and still discover it can’t grow. If that’s the case, and conflict is not an issue, the almost certain cause for not growing is because the worship services do not move, touch, or inspire. Churches can grow even in declining populated towns and counties. They can grow in economically impoverished communities. They can even grow in hostile environments. But if worship is uninspiring, especially to its guests, the chances of growth is almost zero. It’s not about contemporary or alternative worship styles. It’s not about technology. It’s not even about dueling piano and organ musicians. It’s about the totality of the worship service. Blended services, as a rule, disappoint almost everyone in the worship space. But even blended worship services can grow a church if they move, touch, and inspire. That means the music connects with the participant’s inner spirit. That means the presentation of the gospel in word, note, and deed is clear and concise. That means the sermon is so motivating that people don’t leave with a bunch of “gee whiz” facts, but with a heart-wrenching commitment to live their lives specifically differently in the ensuing days. That means that nothing gets in the way of the presence of the Holy Spirit – that in spite of our contrived and theologically incorrect invocations, God shows up with the power that breaks the rocks of the heart and with the gentleness of a whisper in the stillness.

“Here’s the deal. If your worship services aren’t moving your members enough to invite their friends and relatives, let alone their acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone else, then your worship services are clearly not worth shouting about. In that case, it’s time to do a complete worship makeover. That doesn’t mean you’re going to wheel in a drum kit or a big screen TV. But it does mean you’re going to get some professional help – because you probably need it – to take your worship to a new level.”

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