How to Kill a Congregation
-Author Unknown, via The Bellview Beacon, August 29, 2011
Let False Teaching Go Unchecked. Tolerate error in the name of “fairness” or “broadmindedness.” Let doctrinal problems fester until they defy solution.
Do Nothing to Stop Gossip and Back-biting. Let rumors circulate without restraint about members of the congregation, especially its leaders and their families. Believe everything you hear–that way, no one will want to lead for fear of being picked to pieces.
Place a Low Estimate on the Need for Congregational Unity. Allow the contentious to divide the church into camps that do not have anything to do with each other. Drive a wedge between members, fragmenting the strength and influence of the body. A good fuss will set the congregation back at least an entire generation.
De-Emphasize Mission Work. Reason that there is no cause to be alarmed with someday halfway across the world when there are so many good works at home–that way, the church is isolated and loses sight of its higher purpose.
Tolerate Sin in the Church. Do nothing about worldly members whose lives bring shame to the church and indignity to the name of Christ.
Foster a cold, spiritless, uncaring atmosphere in the Worship Services. Make no effort to make visitors feel welcome.
Soft-Peddle the Subject of Giving. Offer no bold challenges requiring sacrifice for fear of offending the stingy.
Offer Young People Recreation and Entertainment but No Help with Their Spiritual Lives. Offer them no opportunities to serve others–to flex their spiritual muscles. Tacitly suggest that the sacrificial, cross-bearing life that makes Christianity come alive is for grown-ups; let them be content with an endless succession of wiener roasts.
Put Programs Above People. Make it necessary for a good idea to go through countless channels before it can ever get off the ground. This insures that whatever enthusiasm exists in the church will be killed by forcing it through the organizational meat-grinder.
Did you read the above thoughtfully and carefully? Let none of us become guilty of trying to kill the congregation!