Churches that are “family-owned and operated” closing this year

This week cover symptoms often found in dysfunctional churches. The list is not meant to be critical but eye-opening. There is hope for our churches, and that hope is found in Christ. Some highlights:

  • If there are severe theological errors in a church, it may no longer be a true church.
  • Force-terminated pastors are too common.
  • The average tenure of a pastor is about 3.5 years.
  • There is a misperception that unchurched people are not receptive to invites to church. That is simply not true.
  • Churches that are “family-owned and operated” are often among the ones that close each year.
  • If you ever look for a perfect church, you will not find it.

The six symptoms of a dysfunctional church that we cover are:

  1. Severe theological errors are pervasive in the church.
  2. The church is known as a “pastor-eater.”
  3. The congregation experiences severe conflict.
  4. Hardly anyone in the community knows the church exists.
  5. The church is declining while the community is growing.
  6. The church is “family owned and family operated.” 

Comments 7

  • Seen many of those closing indeed Terry Wiles

  • How about relating this to the truth of making disciples, not converts?

    • tell us the difference disciples vs converts

    • I believe the are different in many ways but the difference is mainly in the relationship to the leader/trainer. From Bible Camp to Bible College and beyond the emphasis in those circles has always seemed to be making converts as opposed to disciples. Here are two references that I believe illustrates the difference between disciples and converts: Matthew 23:15 and 1John 2:27. I don’t want to be pulling a Titus 3:9, not trying to cause an argument but I believe there is a specific reason that Jesus said to go into all the World and make disciples as opposed to converts.

    • Michael D Wayne The list is not meant to be critical but eye-opening. There is hope for our churches, and that hope is found in Christ.

    • I agree that our hope is in Jesus, our everything is only in Jesus. Churches seem to come and go, groups come and go. In my opinion, I have seen over my 40 plus years if there is a biblical focus of the church, it has seemed to be on making converts, not developing disciples. Don’t want to cause problems here but I believe the difference is important to personal and corporate growth. From what I have studied, the early church focused on discipleship first and the converts came after. I believe it has been reversed in favour of a numbers game – much like the comment to the Pharisees and their far flung travel mentioned by Jesus.

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