Characteristics of Growing/Declining Churches

This is from a handout that I’ve used when I’ve preached on Ephesians 4:11-14.

· Receptive to pastoral leadership: Growing churches show respect for the ministry of godly pastors (Eph. 4:11-12).

· Unreceptive to pastoral leadership: Declining (or plateaued) churches disrespect the ministry of godly pastors.

· Spiritually mature leadership: Growing churches have spiritually qualified leaders (I Tim. 3:1-13, Tit. 1:6-9).

· Disruptive, immature lay leadership: Declining churches have spiritually unqualified people in places of leadership

· “Great Commission Church”: Growing churches pray and plan definitely for evangelism and discipling new believers and growing churches regularly train members for evangelism and effective ministry (Matthew 28:19-20).

· “Status quo churches”: Declining churches pray primarily for personal needs and plan to do pretty much what they have been doing, and declining churches make do with the people who have been serving in the same places for a long time.

· Ministry of each member according to God’s gift and guidance, in love: Growing churches use the spiritual gifts of their members in a growing atmosphere of Christlike love (Eph. 4:15-16).

· “Fill the slot again this year”: Declining churches pressure people to serve without regard to their spiritual gifts or sense of ministry burden, in an often demanding, not loving, atmosphere.

· Outreach philosophy of evangelism: Growing churches “go out” of the church to reach the lost (Acts 1:8).

· “Come and get it, you sinners”: Declining churches expect the lost to come to church to find the Savior.


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