If your church was failing, struggling or dead would you reach out for help?
Maybe your church is exploding with growth. Maybe your church is successful in winning souls to Christ, discipling them, raising them up and sending them out to plant new churches in unreached areas. Maybe the power and presence of God is charging the atmosphere of your meetings to the extent that revival is about to break out into the streets. Maybe you’re all good….
For the rest, 80% of American churches are either struggling or dying according to Ed Stezer, professor of research and missional ministry at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Check out this little chart I put together to give us a visual of the reality of church growth in America.
My wife and I watch a tv show on the Food Network called Restaurant Impossible. Top notch chef, Robert Irvine, takes on the almost impossible challenge of turning a failing restaurant into a fresh start, revitalized operation within 2 days and with a budget of only 10,000 dollars. These restaurants are in deep trouble. Usually upon arrival he uncovers problem after problem ranging from poor service, dirty, dingy appearances to horrible food and poor management skills. The thing that amazes me the most is what he is able to accomplish with a Restaurant owner who is humble enough to recognize his dream is failing and desperately needs help otherwise he or she will be shutting its doors and putting a “closed” sign up for good.
With the staggering statistics of churches we have been exposed to over the past decade, it is no secret that many churches in America are simply either stagnant, in decline or failing. The parallels to Restaurant Impossible and churches is brilliant. Often times pastors and church leaders are blinded to see the reality of a failing church right before there eyes until it is too late. This is a result of either stubbornness, overly optimistic attitude or a sense of hopelessness or prevailing discouragement. Some churches point blank refuse to adopt change.
Sometimes it is helpful to have an outside ministry bring a perspective to help struggling churches. A prophetic voice or apostolic team can be a saving grace to inject life, help with planning and administer constructive energy to help build and strengthen the local church’s mission. Its good to have access to a person like Robert Irvine, who can see potential issues that could be blocking the life flow of a church or plainly speaking, causing its demise. Robert doesn’t accomplish this alone. He usually brings in his design team to help transform the restaurant into a whole new, fresh looking, and productive operation.
If you’re a pastor reading this, my question to you is if your church was struggling, would you reach out for help? Could you take the time to begin to build the necessary relationships with the Robert Irvines and ministries that would be a refreshment to you and your congregation?
Our hearts desire is to see struggling churches come alive with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Many churches do not tap into the insight and anointing that comes along with the grace and gift of the prophetic ministry. I’m not talking about weird prophecies or emotional hype. I’m referring to true insight and foresight that can literally transform a failing church by the grace of God for those who are open to it. Consider contacting us if you are in need of encouragement, prayer or simply would like to pour out your concerns to an outside ear that can offer a word of encouragement to you or your congregation. One word from God can change your life forever. It has with me, it can happen for you.