3 questions to avert church ‘shutdown’
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
It happened again. Not necessarily that the government was shut down, but that the government wasn't getting along with itself. We see it all the time. Adults not getting along and threatening the absolute worst predicaments.
For the first time in 17 years, the U.S. government has shut down. Many thought it would never happen; some thought it was inevitable. All because people can’t agree to move forward in certain ways. And sadly, it could happen to your church.
I know, it sounds melodramatic. But around 7,000 churches shut down in America each year. And sadly, the apathetic community doesn't understand it nor even realize the impact in the community.
I’m not going to get political in this article. Many believe what’s happening in Washington is necessary; many believe it should have been averted. But what we do know, is the “system” allows this to happen. And the world’s system will allow your church to close its doors. Here are three questions to avert a shutdown:
1. What would shut it down? Adults arguing. Defunding programs. People walking out. That’s certainly evidence of some major issues. And I’m not talking government here. This happens all the time in churches. The only way to avert this in the church is to regularly examine the things you’re doing as a church. Line them up with God’s Word, be transparent in your dealings and discuss the purpose behind your programs. Pastors, you too must listen to those in leadership and be willing to change direction. Unless it’s clearly from God’s Word.
2. What would people miss? This is the most telling discussion. If your church actually shut down, would anyone notice? Would only the people in the pew? Or would they even tell (except on Sunday mornings)? And what about in the community? If they couldn't tell, then your church is only for the members; and your outreach is lacking.
3. What would restore it? Everyone is wondering how long the government will be closed (although, it’s really just a partial shutdown). Who will “blink” first? Many of you may be in a partially shut down or ineffective state now. What will it take to restore you to perfect fellowship and ministry? That’s what God wants, and it takes good leadership. Will you be the one? Just do it.
Right now, 800,000 government workers aren't going to work during the shutdown because they’re deemed “unnecessary.” I think we need to look within our churches and ensure that every member, employee, leader and community person is deemed necessary for God’s kingdom work. Let’s get back to doing the right things. The things that will allow us to become known for God's work in the membership and the world. For Jesus Christ.
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Have you ever been part of a church that has shut down?
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