1. Unresolved Conflict- Conflicted churches don’t grow. It’s never “fun” to deal with conflict, but in a smaller church there seems to be so much more at stake. The loss of a family or a whole family system in a medium sized church is unpleasant. In a small church, though, that same loss may mean half or more of the worshipping participants walking out. And so, rather than dealing with conflict effectively, the leaders and the congregation as a whole will choose to ignore the conflict. Of course, this can kill the church just as dead … it just takes longer.
2. Lack of Hospitality- First-time visitors decide whether or not they’ll return to your congregation within the first 10 minutes of their visit – and some experts suggest the decision is made within the first three minutes.
3. Inward Focused- Although it’s true of non-growing churches of every size, it’s especially hard to miss when a small church is more concerned with answering the question “What about us?” rather than “How can we be the tangible touch of Jesus for our neighbors?” When maintaining status quo outweighs faithful effectiveness, church growth is impossible.
4. Leaders Don’t Support the Growth- The leadership isn't really onboard with the growth. Sure, they nodded at what seemed the appropriate moments, but when SUBCONSCIOUSLY realized they could be outvoted at an upcoming board meeting, that there really were new people who might actually become a committee chair, or worse the board chair, tensions naturally surface. Note, I’ve yet to work with a church where a church leader intentionally started a fight in order to sabotage growth … but it just happens … almost every time. Unless the church leadership is really on board, sustained growth isn’t going to happen.
5. The Church has Become the Walking Dead- (read the whole post HERE)