WHY CHURCHES FAIL
January 20, 2012
Many pastors attended a church growth seminar in hope of finding answer to effective church growth as their numbers in attendance were suddenly in decline. Dr. Richard J. Krejcir has written "Statistics on Why Churches Fail", after reviewing 1,103 churches surveyed and tracked for 12-plus years. His research findings included the following as to why people leave a church:
(1) Sixty one percent (61%) of people (2,039) left their last church because of a conflict with another member which resulted from gossip and/or strife that would not stop, was not true, or was not properly dealt with. They also marked a lack of hospitality and a lack of Bible teaching second or third, making this category 91%.
(2) Nineteen percent, (19%) or 640 people, felt not being connected; the lack of hospitality was the number one reason. They too marked a lack of teaching secord or third, and gossip also as the second or third reason. The significant factor in this category was 66%.
(3) Eighteen percent (18%) of 613 people said it was because of a lack of solid Bible teaching; they also marked gossip and strife and lack of hospitality as second or third.
(4) Four point five percent (4.5%) or 140 people left for reasons of inconvenience; the church was too far, parking too difficult, services to long, preaching was boring, or some minor theological disagreement. It was noted that this is the least of the categories as to why people leave, but are what most people in church leadership and consluting spend their time and energies trying to connect with!
WHY CHURCHES SUCCEED
Taken in context,churches grow when people attending feel welcomed, accepted (not gossiped about), and are shown hospitality. While at the same time learning about God, his word, and how to apply these factors in daily living and prayer, leading to spiritual growth and maturity. Dr. Krejcir went on to conclude, Seven (7) reaons why churches succeed. Number one on his list of reasons people come and bring other people to a church is due to the love and Fruit that is real, felt, and displayed.
I remember visiting a church that was not close to home and meeting an elderly lady who was walking by herself, as those quickly passed her by in an effort to find their seat of choice in the congregation. Upon saying hello and exchanging names she kindly asked me in a very sincere effort to establish a connection, "The next time you see me would you please stop and say hello, it would mean alot to me." The lonliness within her eyes linger to this day, teaching me a lesson I will not soon forget.
Another lesson in care is found within the New Testiment which provides us with the examples of Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, as they "gently" worked with new, young believers in Thessalonica, ..."just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children (1 Thess. 2:7). They provided comfort, and encouragement, "as a father does his own children" (v. 11). Showing such compassion, care, extends the love of God forward at a critical time in their faith, uniting the family of God in purpose, deed, action, and spirit. Take time to make time for the new visitors that come upon your church doors, seeking an invitation to stay.
There are so many hurting and lonely people within the fast paced, high tech, quick connect on facebook, world in which we live. Don't let the chance to show love, care, and concern to those God places within your personal path slip by, and you too can be a part of helping lead others to God's love, and watching your church grow!
All to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Who taught by example, the greatest lesson in love ever known to mankind (John 3:16-17). For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus. To die on calvary's cross as sins salvation price, so that we might live.
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