6 STAGES of the DYING CHURCH

Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

“The six stages of a dying church:”

  1. Denial. The church is declining numerically, but no one seems concerned. Fewer people are reached with the gospel, but no alarm sounds. The church’s impact on the community is negligible, but life continues in the church like nothing has happened.
  2. Recalibration. There is a sense that something’s wrong in the church, so the church responds in one of two ways. Do more of what we are doing that has proven ineffective. Or, secondly, seek a “magic bullet” program, emphasis, or new pastor. The church does not really want to change; it just thinks it needs an adjustment.
  3. Anger. Church leaders and members begin to recognize that the magic bullet did not reverse the negative trends, so they deflect the blame. It’s the denomination’s fault. It’s those young people who don’t respect the way we’ve always done it. It’s the messed-up culture. It’s the people in our community who stopped attending churches. The anger in these churches is palpable.
  4. Exodus. The church had been losing members gradually to this point, but now the outflow increases. And even those who don’t officially leave attend less frequently. The worship center is desolate on Sunday mornings. The anger in the church moves to demoralization.
  5. Desperation. For the first time since the dying process began, the remaining members say they are more open to new ideas and change. But their words are more words of desperation than conviction. They now see the handwriting on the wall. Their church will soon die.
  6. Death. The church becomes another sad and tragic statistic. At best, the church deeds its property to a healthy church. The process from denial to death in the recent past would take as many as thirty years. Today, the process is much shorter, ten years or less.

Churches have broken free from the death stages, but they are rare. And the longer the church waits to make substantive changes, the more difficult it becomes to reverse the path. It’s significantly easier to make changes at stage one than stage four. Keep in mind that nearly nine out of ten of the churches that die are in communities that are growing.

5 Comments

  • Reply June 12, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    I have to agree here Street Preacherz

    • Reply June 12, 2017

      Street Preacherz

      I don’t blame them talking to some people is like chewing glass. I’ll read it on the bus…

  • Reply June 12, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Robert Borders Not sure WHY ground 0 here is not listed as demonic attack against the church that creates all these emotional atmosphere for church splits and destruction. These demonic forces MUST be exposed and dealt with #HolyGhostProtocol

    • Reply June 12, 2017

      Street Preacherz

      Maybe an oversimplification?
      “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
      – Ezekiel 9:4
      Who wants a broken heart?
      But it’s hard to pray without it…

  • Reply January 29, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    heres 6 of the 7 ages you asked for

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.