Leadership, Church Web & Tech, Mission Alignment

The Future Dying Church

Church Donate GroupAs I mentioned in my Five Trends for the Future of Church Planting , I foresee a quickening of churches dying in America over the next twenty years.  There are tens of thousands of churches filled with communities that have shrunk below 100, 70, 50 and are filled with an aging population.  Many of these churches will not know how to survive. 

American church statistics1 have reported:

· In America, 3500 – 4000 churches close their doors each year
· Half of all churches last year did not add one new member through conversion growth
· Churches lose an estimated 2,765,000 people each year to nominalism and secularism

The question looms, what are all these churches going to do when they need to close their doors?  I believe there are three options:

1) Dying Churches and Denominations can become large REITs.

2) Dying Churches and Denominations can re-invest in the Kingdom by turning over their resources for the purpose of Church Planting. 

3) Dying Churches can be replanted through letting go of control and bringing in leaders who will get them back on mission. 

The hope is always that # 3 occurs, but sadly this doesn't always work. The Donate Church Group works with dying churches who want to re-plant their church or  help start multiple new church plants. These churches believe the gospel needs to continue to reach the generations to come. Like the parable of the mustard seed, on occassion, they willingly die in order that new life may come.  Donate Church group will work with partner the church with local Church Planting Networks to assess, assist and allocate resources.

1.  George Barna, Twentysomethings Struggle to Find Their Place in Christian Churches, http://www.barna.org/

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2 Comments

  1. If any be interested, I offer free consultation services for any dying church which may desire to move toward oversight by a plurality of voluntary elders rather than the traditional arrangement of a single salaried pastor. This can actually work.

    Sadly, by the time some dying churches acknowledge their plight, there remain no prospects and it’s too late.

    God help us.

    David Anderson
    p.o. 4242
    Bristol, TN 37625

    423 538 7897

  2. I think that if Christians started hang out with non-Christians and stopped worrying about how to grow churches, stuff would start changing. And not hanging out with them in order to “save” them, but just to be friends with them.

    1 Corinthians 5:9-12
    When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders.

    God never called us to save people… that’s His Job. He called us to love them and I think we are failing on a national level right now.

    2 questions:

    If Jesus didn’t prefer to hang out with churched people, then why do we?

    If a persons faith is weak around unbelievers, how do they know that they really have true faith at all?

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