Tuesday, June 22, 2010

13 Churches (Part 3 of 4)

We're taking a look at 13 different types of churches that are listed in Ed Stetzer's book, "Comeback Churches." Below are three more types, if you didn't get to see the first three, click here. Again, these descriptions come directly from the Ed's book, and I'd encourage you to buy a copy and read it

I've broken the list of 13 "Dirty Churches" into four different post; as not to make one extra long post. To catch up on the past 7 check out the links below.

13 Churches Part 1
13 Churches Part 2
and now here is the next installment.

Eight, Nine and Ten

"Time-Warp" Church. Somehow these folks have preserved, not just the tenets of the faith, but the positions, practices, and appearance of years gone by. They may still have an "Intermediate" or "Junior" department. They expect others to adapt and accept what they've grown comfortable with doing, and they give no thought at all to change. The church doesn't seem to attract people like it did before, but "If it's good enough for me and my family, it should be good enough for them." This church was probably once very effective , but the community has experienced a major transition, leaving the church perplexed, wondering what it should do.

"Tidy" Church. The members take pride in their church. They've worked hard to get it and keep it in it's present condition. The buildings, furnishings, and equipment are well kept. The materials are meticulously organized. Everything operates smoothly until noisy youth or messy children begin to come. As outreach efforts continue to draw more exuberant kids and their families, a greater sense of unrest develops. The new growth is suddenly viewed as a threat, leading to efforts to contain it and to prevent further disruptions or damage.

"My Way or the Highway" Church. A number of the members in this church know how things ought to be, and are vocal--maybe even vociferous---in expressing it. They like a certain kind of music. Maybe guitars are out; anthems are in. Or, choir robes are more appropriate than "street clothes" for worship. Comments such as the following abound: "I don't like to stand when we sing." "It's always too hot (or too cold) in here." "I like it better when we had announcements in the middle of the service." " The attendance board has always been on that wall." "This is our room and we're not about to move." No matter the issue, these people wont' be satisfied unless it's done their way.
This is stereotypical church wherein the senior adults are given the new van to use on their apple orchard trips while the student ministry is asked to drive the old van because "those teenagers are messy." Young families get the message that their children are unwelcome.

Check in tomorrow for the last three.

Hopefully by now you've read all the post concerning this subject and I don't have to go into great detail to why I'm posting these types of churches.
But to make sure you hear my heart, I want the church to not only survive but to excel! Since 3,500 to 4,000 churches close each year, it's obvious that most churches won't make the turnaround. This is probably due to several reasons, a couple are; first, most churches will not admit how bad it is. Second, most churches will not make the needed changes.
My prayer is that you as a leader, pastor, elder, board member read and see that quite possibly you are heading down the road to being one of these types or churches, or you already are one, that you would aggressively seek God for answers and strategy to turn you church around and be one of the many "comeback churches" in America.

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