5 Attitude Differences Between Growing and Declining Churches

These are some reflections on Carey Nieuwhof’s 5 Big Attitude Differences that Separate Growing Churches From Declining Churches. Click the article below to see the original post. https://careynieuwhof.com/5-big-attitude-differences-that-separate-growing-churches-from-declining-churches/

Throughout my week, I read several different publications that help refine my thinking around church leadership and sometimes an article will pop out. This week, it was Carey Nieuwhof’s article on the differences in attitudes between growing churches and declining churches. He lists 5 of them.

  1. We Can Vs. We Can’t (Growing Churches believe they can, others do not, and don’t try)
  2. Them Vs. Us (Growing Churches focuses on people they’re trying to reach, not themselves)
  3. Principles Vs Preferences (Growing churches focuses on principles that will help reach people, not focus on what they prefer)
  4. Proactive Vs Reactive (Growing Churches take actions on issues that impact their future)
  5. Today Vs Someday (Growing churches act and act now)

I believe our church desires to be a healthy church and for the most part, healthy things grow. So it leads me to believe that our church desires to grow both deep in their faith and wide in reaching our communities. However, we still run up against these mindsets.

  • “We can’t possibly do that!”
  • “We really should just focus on caring for our own people”
  • “That maybe what the article is saying, but I like the way we do it”
  • “There’s enough to deal with today… Why should we add more? We can do it some other day.”

Friends, being a healthy church is extremely hard. It means having to love God, love our fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus and love our communities and people outside our church. Sometimes (if we’re being honest), it’s hard to love God, let alone loving my Christian brother and sister! On top of that, you’re telling me, you want me to love the people who don’t even attend our church? There’s already enough to do!

Yes, it is hard work. But no, we cannot ignore one side of that triangle. We must do all three. We must be mindful to execute James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (ESV). We must love God. We must love our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. We must love our neighbors.

We do all of this because Jesus first loved us and gave himself up on the cross for us so that we would not perish, but by believing in Him, we should have life, life to the full and eternal life. Friends, if you’re feeling weary of this work, take a look at the cross and let me reshape these 5 attitudes in light of Jesus.

  1. God believed he could save us, so he gave everything, even His on Son up to death, so we might become children of God. So we follow after God, believing we can make a difference in our church and community for His Kingdom because He directs us to.
  2. We were enemies of God, but God came to earth and put on flesh and gave his life up for us, even though we were still His enemies so we might be transformed to become children of God and friends of Jesus. God didn’t look after himself, but went after us. So we should go looking for His lost children and enemies to bring them back to God.
  3. Jesus didn’t do the easy thing and rescue himself from that final trial and judgement on the cross. His preference was to have the cup pass from him, but instead, He loved us and gave his life up for us. We cannot follow what we want, but what God wants, even though it may be tougher.
  4. God didn’t wait for us to come to Him. He was proactive in sending His son to die for us to make a way for us to come home. We can’t react to what is happening around us but instead we should follow God’s example set down for us and be proactive in finding ways to make our world better for the Parkland.
  5. God isn’t waiting to call to you someday. He is calling to us today to come home and be His children and accepted and loved today. We too must act today and start seeing change in our church today so we can see people come to a saving faith in Jesus, today.

Let us not to be slow in acting in a way that healthy churches act. If we have attitudes that are not gospel centered, let us turn back to Jesus and the cross to “…be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2) so we may know the will of God in bring the gospel to our friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to invite them into a gospel conversation so we can see the light of God brought into the Parkland!

Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.

William Con

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