I’ve noticed a comparison between what is going on in Afghanistan and what happens in most dying churches. Dying churches usually have some money saved up. In fact I have helped close some churches with money in the bank. The problem is that the leaders will slowly dole out just enough money to keep the church on life support as long as possible instead of spending it all on something that might reverse their decline. When I suggest to them that they “roll the dice” on X that might give them a future, they balk because, if it doesn’t work, they will be out of money, knowing all the while that if they continue doing what they are doing they will die soon.
Well the same is happening in Afghanistan. Our country is running out of money and will face bankruptcy within the next ten years unless we do something. Everyone knows this. Yet we continue to spend money in multiple wars (and we are considering another one in Syria) and still keep military bases all over the world. Yet no one will do anything. And my guess is, like church leaders, we will continue our present path, trying to save the world, while our home front deteriorates until we’re a shell of what we used to be.
Now don’t misunderstand me. This is not a tirade against our military, nor is it a political statement about one party or the other (both parties are part of the mess). This is an observation about human nature – most humans would rather hang on the illusion that if we do nothing, things will all work out. In the case of church leaders it goes like this: “as long as we can keep the church alive until I die, I’m happy.” In the case of our political leaders, it goes like this: “as long as I can keep my office, I’m happy.”
Church leader, if your church is declining and you have money in the bank, spend it NOW. All of it on something that could insure a future beyond slow, gradual decline. What that would be, I don’t have a clue. In most churches it is starting an indigenous worship service designed to reach the major age block surrounding the church. In some cases it might be relocating the church. In other situations it might be hiring the second most important staff person the church ever hires – a full-time worship leader.
Question: Who or what does your church need to spend ALL of its money on NOW in order to have half a chance of thriving instead of just surviving? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.