The Beginning of the End for a Church

Tony Morgan, who was so kind to feature my guest post Saturday on his blog, posted this yesterday:
This excerpt from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson’s recent book Rework keeps reverberating in my mind today:
“When you stick with your current customers come hell or high water, you wind up cutting yourself off from new ones. Your product or service becomes so tailored to your current customers that it stops appealing to fresh blood. And that’s how your company starts to die.”
That’s consistent with one of the key attributes of churches in decline that we talked about a few months ago. When churches become inward focused and start making decisions about ministry to keep people rather than reach people, they have also started to die.

Jesus said it this way:
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? (Luke 15:4, NLT)
Why do you think some churches slip into the mode where they’re so focused on keeping people that they neglect trying to reach people who are outside the faith? Join the conversation by sharing your comment.
I can only say, "exactly right." I think it happens for a variety of reasons. We hate to lose people. Nobody likes it when somebody's unhappy in a church. The Enemy likes it just fine when we de-prioritize those who haven't yet exoerienced the love of God in Christ. And more. Some good reasons, some bad. But I agree that it's the beginning of the end for a church. I've seen it over and over again.


  1. A truer statement has never been made...Agendas and personal objectives also fall into this conversation...

  2. I don't think a church can be all inward focused or outward focused and be completely healthy, first and foremost the focus must stay upward and the rest falls into place.

  3. Thanks for the comment, JC. And you're right, agendas (especially the hidden ones) and personal objectives are deadly to a church as well.

  4. Mary, you're dead on! I agree, the upward focus will RESULT in a church reflecting the Master's heart for the flock and for the lost.