1. The Vision Is Not Clear
If people don’t know where a church is supposed to be going, then it will attempt to go everywhere and eventually wind up nowhere. (Interesting experiment—ask people this coming Sunday at your church, “What is our vision” and see if people give you the same answers or different ones.)
2. The Focus Is on Trying to Please Everyone
There is NO church on the planet that will make everyone happy every single week—and according to the Scriptures, that isn’t really supposed to be our obsession. Too many times, we become so concerned with offending people that we actually offend Jesus.
3. Passionless Leadership
When a leader does what he/she does for a paycheck and not because it's their passion … it’s over. I’ve said it before … I want difference-makers, not paycheck-takers. Also, it is hard to be passionate about a place when a person's average stay at a church is two years or less.
4. Manufacturing Energy
If a program is dead in a church … then it needs a funeral, and the people need to move on. Investing time, energy and money into something that is dead will not revive it. Celebrate the fact that “that” program had its day … and then move on. AND quit trying to fire people up over events that you would not attend if you were not on staff.
5. Lack of Prayer
Many times, we work so hard putting our ideas together that we actually think there is no need for the supernatural power of God to be involved. Prayer should not be the good luck charm that we stick at the beginning or the end of what we do … but rather it should be our constant desperation to see God do the undeniable among us. Intense desperation often brings undeniable revelation!
6. Unwillingness to Take Risks
When our focus becomes to play it safe rather than to do whatever it takes to reach people far from God … it’s over. NOWHERE in the Scriptures did God ever ask anyone to do anything that didn’t involve an “oh crap” moment. We’ve GOT to be willing to embrace the uncertain if we want to see the unbelievable.
7. Disobedience to the Scriptures
Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:48, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, II Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 19:10 … I could go on and on … but we MUST understand that Jesus didn’t come to Earth, live here for 33 years, give HIS life for us, and then return back to heaven to intercede for us so that we could get in really little circles and talk about ourselves and condemn those who are not as good as us. We are called to REACH PEOPLE FOR GOD—PERIOD!
8. Selfish Attitudes
Matthew 20:28 says it all … and if we are going to be more like Jesus, we’ve GOT to serve others rather than expecting the church to be our servant all of the time. When a person (or group of people) refuses to embrace that a call to follow Jesus is a call to serve … then we’ve lost sight of who He is, and eventually, we will make being a Christian all about Jesus following/serving us rather than us taking up our cross and following Him!
Related Preaching Articles
By Ross Lester on Sep 9, 2017
Many people are intrigued but leery of using a preaching team approach. This article aims to provide some practical answers to the obstacles involved in the process.
By Sermoncentral on Sep 8, 2017
"The forces of American culture are almost all designed to build the opposite worldview into our people’s minds. Maximize comfort, ease, and security. Avoid all choices that might bring discomfort, trouble, difficulty, pain, or suffering. Add this cultural force to our natural desire for immediate gratification and fleeting pleasures, and the combined power to undermine the superior satisfaction of the soul in the glory of God through suffering is huge."
By Carey Nieuwhof on Sep 7, 2017
"I recently surveyed 1400 small and mid-sized church pastors to find out what they struggle with most as their church grows. They overwhelmingly identified developing leaders as their top challenge."
By Lance Witt on Sep 15, 2017
"When it comes to our preaching, we live in the constant tension between pastor and prophet. On one hand, as pastors we want to encourage and care for the sheep. So, in our preaching we want to be uplifting and hopeful. On the other hand, as prophets we must sometimes say the hard things that the sheep don’t want to hear."