The Top Ten (10) Trends Affecting Church Health

1. The healthiest churches have an active supportive and trained leadership—spiritual, growing and contented members who are excited about the Gospel.

2. The healthiest churches have a high reverence for the Bible and are involved in discipleship and the multiplication of it.

3. There is a direct correlation between the decline of small groups, those who actually study the Bible, or a decline of quality small group Bible-based curricula (versus a mere book study) and the decline of evangelism, stewardship, spiritual growth, and leadership participation!

4. There is a direct correlation between the decline of personal devotions and personal prayer and Bible study amongst leaders and pastors and the decline of church health, evangelism, stewardship, spiritual growth, and leadership participation!

5. American Christians increasingly tend to be more and more isolated from their non-Christian counterparts, in one’s family, workplace, and secular society in general. The more one is involved as a Christian, the less influence they have to others in the world for the Gospel.

6. Non-Christians, academia, and the media are more and more openly hostile to the Gospel. At the same time, many younger non-Christians (ages 14 to 30) are more receptive to the Gospel message.

7. Less than 10% of Reformed and Evangelical churches (not mainline or Catholic) have an evangelism program or plans for one.

8. The churches that are growing both numerically and spiritually in fruit and maturity have an active missions program and local outreach.

9. The churches that are growing both numerically and spiritually in fruit and maturity have preaching and small groups doing active teaching or expository or exegetical Bible sermons and not simple messages.

10. Younger people, 14 to 30 year olds, are seeking a deeper relationship in churches than previous generations. They want relevant worship, deeper Bible studies, preaching that is centered on the Bible and the glorification of Christ, and practical life-relational helps. The dropout rate of 14 to 30 year olds is at an all-time high—50% to 70%. The primary reason is that they want more and the churches they visit do not offer it! The other 30% to 50% drop out because of apathy and indifference, a loss of hope, and the Church cannot fulfill them anymore.

The number one reason people will stop going to any church is?

…conflict and gossip!

Healthy churches have a plan to recognize and then resolve conflict and sin. The best plans and calls of the Lord will stall out in the presence of conflict! If the rumors, conflicts, and lack of Fruit are not managed, the people will leave because all that is left is inhospitality. The people who stay will be the “problem people,” continuing to create factions, disunity, and strife. Healthy churches are on the lookout for people and leaders who have agendas and attitudes that are contrary to God’s Word. They are counseled, and if they will not stop, they are removed from fellowship until they repent. 

(Proverbs 4:23; 9:8; 10:12; 17:27-28; 26:20; Philippians 2:14; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8; 3; James 1:2; John 9-12) 

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6

The number two reason people stay a part of a church is?

 

…the teaching aptitude of the pastor to stimulate spiritual knowledge and growth!

The best growing churches in the world have solid, biblical preaching at their core. These churches preach the holiness of God, the blood of Jesus, how to worship, how to deal with sin, how to relate to one another, and how to love one another, and biblical precepts for knowledge and living, which the leaders are modeling! All of the preaching is done by and through the Word with power (His), conviction, passion (real sincerity and eagerness to live for Christ), clarity (taught in a way people understood), and in truth (uncompromised Word of God).

These churches do not dilute God’s truth or misrepresent the Gospel message. These churches lift up the cross! When there is no effective Bible teaching, the church will fail or become a showcase for an egomaniacal, charismatic personality who may motivate but does not instruct, and/or teaches false doctrine. When that person leaves the church (if it ever was a church), it will quickly die. Your church must be centered on the Person of Christ—not a personality!

 How can a young man keep his way pure?
       By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart;
       do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart
       that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, O LORD;
       teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:9-12

(Jeremiah 33:6; Matthew 5:9; Romans 7:12; Galatians 3)