“One God idea is worth more than a thousand good ideas.” – Mark Battrson
From Group Publishing – A survey found ten dominant behavior patterns of members in struggling churches. Keep reading because I’m also including a pledge that could provide something to make people think about what it means to be a member of a church.
1. Worship wars. One or more factions in the church want the music just the way they like it. Any deviation is met with anger and demands for change. The order of service must remain constant. Certain instrumentation is required while others are prohibited.
2. Prolonged minutia meetings. The church spends an inordinate amount of time in different meetings. Most of the meetings deal with the most inconsequential items, while the Great Commitssion and Great Commandment are rarely the topics of discussion.
3. Facility focus. The church facilities develop iconic status. One of the highest priorities in the church is the protection and preservation of room, furniture, and other visible parts of the church’s buildings and grounds.
4. Program driven. Every church has programs even if they don’t admit it. When we start doing a a ministry a certain way, it takes on programmatic status. The problem is not with programs. The problem develops when the program becomes an end instead of a means to greater ministry.
5. Inwardly focused budget. A disproportionate share of the budget is used to meet the needs and comforts of the members instead of reaching beyond the walls of the church.
6. Inordinate demands for pastoral care. All church members deserve care and concern, especially in times of need and crisis. Problems develop, however, when church members have unreasonable expectations for even minor matters. Some members expect the pastoral staff to visit them regularly merely because they have membership status.
7. Attitudes of entitlement. This issue could be a catchall for many of the points named here. The overarching attitude is one of demanding and haing a sense of deserving special treatment.
8. Greater concern about change than the gospel. Almost any noticable changes in the church evoke the ire of many; but those same passions are not evident about participating in the work of the gospel to change lives.
9. Anger and hostility. Members are consistentlly angry. They regularly express hostility toward the church staff and other members.
10. Evangelistic apathy. Very few members share their faith on a regular basis. More are concerned about thier own needs rather than the greatest eternal needs of the world and community in which they live.
All churches have some of these behavior patterns. But how deeply do these patterns describe your church? How could we help our churches change? Maybe it would be wise to look at Philippians 4:5-11 and explain how the attitude of Christ could become a pattern for us. Also, we could describe a church member that best fits the description of having the mind of Christ and a servant attitude.
Group publishing provides an interesting pledge for church members to combat this: “I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires. That is self-serving. I am a member in this church to serve others and to serve Christ. My Savior went to a cross for me. I can deal with any inconveniences and matters that just aren’t my preference or style.” ________________________ – Sign and Date
“Bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers.” – Mark Batterson