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The Pulse, with Joseph Mattera
Friday, August 11, 2017
10 Reasons We Keep Seeing Established Churches Failing

Many churches refuse to reach beyond the culture and predominant ethnic makeup of their congregation. (Pexels)
Where I live, dozens of large old church buildings that used to hold thriving congregations strewn along a major avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Some have been torn down and developed, while others are supported by social programs and/or rentals from other congregations. As I ponder this, I have come to the conclusion that there are 10 primary reasons established churches eventually fail.

1. They are not intergenerational.

Many of the churches in my community were at one time ethnic churches that have failed to pass down their faith to their children. When we first moved into this community we noticed that the average age of the believers in these churches was probably over 60 years of age. Consequently, there are many large congregations populated primarily with older people, and the concern of this article is whether these churches will exist in two decades.

2. They refuse to adapt to the changing demographics.

Many churches refuse to reach beyond the culture and predominant ethnic makeup of their congregation. It is the job of the lead pastor and elders to continually analyze the changing demographics of their community so they can stay ahead of the curve. I once warned a group of ethnic pastors that they would not have a church in 10 years if they did not adopt their strategies to the rapid gentrification taking place in their community. In other words, in order to reach certain people groups, a church has to focus on developed leaders representing that group and eventually give them a prominent role in decision-making and public ministry.

3. They use old methodologies.

The outreach strategies and methods of ministry in some churches are the same today as they were 40 years ago. read more
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