stalled churches

Marcus Honeysett, A hole in the fuel tank 

"ten common spiritual reasons why churches stall...

1. The church forgets who we are and what we are for. When we forget that we are the community of disciples for declaring God’s greatness and making disciples, mission quickly becomes just one among many activities rather than the defining vision of who we are as a community.

2. The majority of believers are no longer thrilled with the Lord and what he is doing in their lives. 

3. The people get happy with not going anywhere because of the comfort and refreshments on offer. 

4. When filler-Christians who have no real commitment to gospel vision outnumber the core of committed believers who do.

5. When a large percentage of the church are used to being passive receivers of ministry from other people rather than being active self-feeders on the Word of God. It is easy to persuade ourselves that we have done the spiritual bit for the week because we have listened to a sermon but with no thought about acting on it. Where people take no personal responsibility for their own spiritual growth a stalled church becomes more likely.

6. No life application from the Bible. When preaching, teaching and Bible study become ends in themselves rather than means to an end, something is badly wrong. The aim of no passage of Scripture is that we should simply know what it says without the knowledge translating into discipleship and worship. 

7. A church becomes afraid to ask radical questions...Few churches regularly evaluate every aspect of church life against their core vision.

8. Confusing Christian activities with discipleship. The myriad of opportunities within and without the local church to spend time doing churchy things makes it very easy to believe that doing those activities automatically means we are growing as disciples. 

9. One type of church says ‘we exist to have our personal spiritual needs met’, the other ‘we exist to impact our locality and the world with the gospel of the grace of God in Christ’. The first type is a stalled church.

10. Moving into maintenance mode. At some point all churches take decisions that tend towards stalling... No one actively decided for comfort over risk, but at some point the mindset shifted from uncomfortable faith and daring passion for the Lord to comfortable mediocrity. "

For a full explanation of each of these points, read the full article here