Ten Dangers of Denial in a Declining Church

The word “declining” can have different connotations as it relates to churches. Most of the time we think of numerical decline, but the meaning is much broader. It can mean declining influence in the community, or decline in effective preaching, or decline in evangelistic impact. The list could continue. Most of the time, though not all of the time, one of the symptoms of this decline is a numerical decline.

According to our best estimates, nearly nine out of ten churches are either declining, or they are growing less rapidly than the community in which they are located. In other words the church is not keeping up with the community. Many of our congregations, plain and simple, are not in good health.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my obesity, and my determination to do something about it. Do you know what one of my key problems was? Denial. I did not want to admit I was obese. I did not want to look in the mirror. I did not want to see photos or videos of me. I wanted to avoid thinking about my unhealthy state through denial. And that denial led me to continue down the path of doing nothing about it.

Many church leaders and members are in denial. They refuse to see the diminishing influence of their churches for the good of the Kingdom. So they do like I did with my perpetual problem of bad health and obesity. They do nothing about it.

Denial is deadly. Denial means the problems are not addressed. Denial means more and more churches will be closing their doors. Though the manifestations are many, look at these ten key dangers of denial.

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