Originally written for TonyMorganLive.com
There is no question many churches are stuck. Just last month, the Pew Research Center projected about 106 million Christians will leave the faith over 40 years. (That’s over 7,000 people a day!) These findings only add to the volumes of research describing the Church in decline.
Everyone knows we have a problem. Yet far too many church leaders find it’s easier to blame external factors for the challenges they face. We will never effectively reach our communities until we shed our excuses and take responsibility for reality.
An organization cannot overcome a challenge until it begins to own the challenge.
- Fast food chains didn’t blame customers when they stopped buying hamburgers. They responded by adding healthier options to the menu.
- Successful newspapers didn’t get mad when readers gave up print. (Ok, some did.) But they eventually developed digital content to engage people in new ways.
- Dish Network didn’t get upset when a younger generation gave up cable for Netflix. It developed Sling TV to let them pay less to stream channels they want.
If only every church leader responded to challenges with willingness to own them and act. Instead, many elect to blame the most immediate cause. It’s time we start trading our excuses for real ownership. Have you found yourself or your team saying any of the following?
- “People just don’t see the value of church anymore.” Maybe you should start focusing your services on topics they value.
- “That megachurch opened a new campus in our town.” Grab a notebook and go learn something from them. I promise they aren’t trying to close your doors.
- “I don’t have the right people on my staff.” They didn’t hire themselves. Put together a plan to start developing them.