Churches Alive and DeadMy wife and I have been visiting new churches lately. In fact, we've become quite regular attenders at one of them, and we don't even have to miss our current church! The new Church meets Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night!
Why are we visiting new churches? It's very simple, we are tired of contributing effort to ours to just watch it waste away.
For instance, I started an Alpha course at our Church. It went well, but there was NO ONE who would help. I had ONE consistent helper. It frittered off because I didn't have anyone who could help me, and got tired of doing all the work myself.
A lot of other ministries in our church are like that -- no one will help out. We have a tough, tough time coming together and doing something great.
And, worship is terrible. Now, I do like contemporary worship. I like crunchy guitars and loud drums. That is what gets me in a worshipful spirit. But even with the old hymns - they don't have to sound like dirges.
I understand that a lot of people have very busy lives, for which Church is the one stable element. I understand that for Church to be changing, it means that these people who are often having frustrating lives as it is have to have one more frustration in their life. But here's the question - are people meeting God at Church.
So I've been going to a church on Sunday nights that offers a lot of what our church is presently missing. And that's not to say that the new church doesn't have its own problems. But it's like the parable of the talents. One group is _using_ it to make back an investment, and the other church is simply burying it in the sand.
Here's the sad part. My home church has so much more possibilities than the new church that I'm going to. They are just so stuck in the status quo that they can't see their way out. My home church could do everything even better than my new church. They have fantastic worship leaders, in fact every aspect of church life there is someone talented beyond measure within the Church.
So what's holding us back? There are several issues, but I think that it boils down to (a) leadership, (b) having the whole congregation willing to help out, (c) focus [which comes back to leadership], and (d) willingness to change. The talented folks are spread too thin on too many projects. The projects which are visionary are not planned into the way the church as a whole operates.
And so we run in circles. And die.
You can make up for a lack of talent with proper vision. You can't make up for a lack of vision and will.