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Victory Christian Tabernacle Church



15 Signs Your Church Is in Trouble - 5 Core Values of a Church in Decline

Posted on October 16, 2011 at 5:30 AM

 By Pastor Perry Noble

1. When excuses are made about the way things are instead of embracing a willingness to roll up the sleeves and fix the problem.

2. When the church becomes content with merely receiving people that come rather than actually going out and finding them…in other words, they lose their passion for evangelism!

3. The focus of the church is to build a great church (complete with the pastors picture…and his wife’s…on everything) and not the Kingdom of God.

4. The leadership begins to settle for the natural rather than rely on the supernatural.

5. The church begins to view success/failure in regards to how they are viewed in the church world rather than whether or not they are actually fulfilling the Great Commission!

6. The leaders within the church cease to be coachable.

7. There is a loss of a sense of urgency! (Hell is no longer hot, sin is no longer wrong and the cross is no longer important!)

8. Scripture isn’t central in every decision that is made!

9. The church is reactive rather than proactive.

10. The people in the church lose sight of the next generation and refuse to fund ministry simply because they don’t understand “those young people.”

11. The goal of the church is to simply maintain the way things are…to NOT rock the boat and/or upset anyone…especially the big givers!

12. The church is no longer willing to take steps of faith because “there is just too much to lose.”

13. The church simply does not care about the obvious and immediate needs that exist in the community.

14. The people learn how to depend on one man to minister to everyone rather than everyone embracing their role in the body, thus allowing the body to care for itself.

15. When the leaders/staff refuse to go the extra mile in leading and serving because of how “inconvenient” doing so would be.

5 Core Values of a Church in Decline


#1 – Laziness - Most people/churches are not “stuck” or in decline because they do not know or understand what the Lord wants them to do…God speaks very clearly in His Word and through His Spirit. It’s just that God’s work always requires people to take a step of faith! Remember, God promised the Israelites the “Promised Land,” but they actually had to go in and fight the battles. A church that refuses to do whatever it takes and embraces laziness will eventually settle in the desert until that generation dies off.

#2 – Fear of Man – God has called His people to set the world on fire; unfortunately, too many church leaders today waste their time trying to put fires out and make people happy! Scripture pretty much sums it up in Proverbs 29:25! If your first question is always, “What does our biggest giver want” and not “What does God want,” your church is stepping into the casket!

#3 – Pride – When a church and/or its leaders are not willing to admit a mistake OR that a method that used to work just doesn’t work anymore…it’s over.

#4 – Staff Abuse – This is something I’ve written about a lot lately…but I will say it over and over again; when a leader cares more about what his staff does than who they are becoming, then he will begin to push them to put in 70-80 hour weeks on a consistent basis…and when they begin to show signs of being pushed too hard, he will accuse them of being “disloyal” or “not bought in enough to make things happen.” When a leader begins to do this (and other “leaders” sit by passively and watch it happen), then the quality of staff members the church is about to attract and keep will decrease significantly.

(One note on this…many times, a pastor/leader who leads like this is lazy! They often wait until the last minute to do things and then expect the entire staff to change and rearrange everything they are doing to accommodate their lack of planning. Changes DO happen in ministry; heck, we had to switch up our entire Easter services at the last minute. BUT…this should be the exception and NOT the norm. AND…when it really is the exception, the staff will always respond with passion and excitement because there is a consistent track record of loyalty TOWARDS them!)

#5 – Loss of Focus – When a pastor/leader (or group of leaders) become more obsessed with their “ministry platform” and begin to dive into other “ministry opportunities” and do so with such frequency that they cease to love the people that Jesus has called them to minister to, disaster is right around the corner because the church will become nothing more than a resource for the pastor to promote himself rather than a group of people whom God has brought together and given him responsibility over to love and lead.

Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, Greenville, Columbia, and Florence, South Carolina. At just nine years old, the church averages over 10,000 people during weekend services. Perry is convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible. A prolific blogger, he's often a featured speaker at church leadership conferences.

The views in this article are solely the views of the author and are not necessarily the views of Victory Christian Tabernacle. This article is posted for education and discussion only.

Categories: Church