Thursday, July 20, 2017

Rainers: Seven Signs of a Dying Church

In their book Essential Church?, authors Thom and Sam Rainer offer seven signs of dying churches. They are:
1. Doctrine Dilution - "Teaching anything less than the absolute truths in Scripture will make the younger generation feel betrayed when they learned that a large gap exists between what the Bible really says and what they were taught in church." (16-17)

2. Loss of Evangelistic Passion - "Dying churches have little evangelistic passion." (17)

3. Failure to be Relevant -". . . there is nothing more relevant to a lost world than the saving grace of Jesus Christ. . . . Churches that keep their internal culture unchanged for fifty years while the world around them goes through continual periods of metamorphosis typically die with that old culture" (17-18)

4. Few Outwardly focused Ministries - "[D]ying churches gorge themselves on closed study groups and churchwide fellowship events while neglecting outreach in the community. . . . [I]t must reach into the community with outwardly focused ministries." (18)

5. Conflict Over Personal Preferences - "When the church focuses on trivial matters, the greater gospel message is left on the sidelines." (18)

6. The Priority of Comfort - "Dying churches are comfortable with their ministries. . . .Churches that flourish get outside comfort zones and reach into areas that are uncharted for them." (19)

7. Biblical Illiteracy - "One of the major sins of a dying church is the neglect of theological teaching." (19)
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