Words can kill.
Words can kill churches because they often have deadly actions behind them. As we begin this new year, please allow me to share six statements that I have heard from church members whose churches have died.
Please hear that last statement again: These are statements from church members whose churches have already closed their doors. I am convinced these statements were major contributors to the churches’ demise.
1. “We pay our pastor to do evangelism.” The common meaning behind this statement is that the members have no intentions of sharing their faith. A church with non-evangelistic members is a dying church.
2. “Without our money, this church would be in trouble.” Ouch! The key word here is “our.” Members with this attitude do not give with an open hand; they perceive the money they give to the church is their money, not God’s money. This tight-fisted non-stewardship, if prevalent in the church, is a sure sign of sickness or death.
3. “This church is not meeting my needs.” For certain, members’ needs should be met. But have you noticed that, often times, the most needy members are the first to complain and the first to leave? We should certainly care for the needs of the flock, but the attitude of the members should be that of serving instead of being served.
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Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.