Todd and I combined have over 30 years experience in consulting with declining churches. Both of us love what we do. It’s not always easy but no job is. One thing is certain, there is great blessing in living out your passion. We love the local church and consider it a privilege to pastor and serve it when and where we can. After all these years we continue to learn because each church is unique. Yet there are principles that remain the same.
The first question we ask when an established church is declining is this: what are you controlling? Webster defines control as to force,manage, master or repress. To repress is to hinder or restrain. To restrain is to curb, keep down or from, bind or inhibit, bottle up, crack, hamper, gag, limit, choke or pull back. Why would anyone want to control a church? The root is fear but that is for another blog post.
Last week on twitter Rick Warren had this to say…Every pastor has to decide what he wants most: control or growth. You can’t have both. The bottleneck is always at the top. For growth, the pastor must give up control of the ministry and the people must give up control of the leadership. Acts. 6:1-7
As a pastor, are you willing to give up control for growth? As a lay person, are you willing to give up control of the leadership for growth?