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The Pulse, with Joseph Mattera
Thursday, May 21, 2020
10 Reasons Why Established Churches Fail

(Photo by Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash)
In Brooklyn, New York, where I live, there were dozens of old church buildings spread along a main avenue that had thriving congregations. Some of these buildings have been torn down and redeveloped, while others are used to hold social programs or are rented out to other newer congregations. I pondered this and have concluded that there are 10 primary reasons established churches eventually fail.
  1. Churches eventually fail because they are not intergenerational.

Many of the churches in my community were attended by older people who failed to pass down their faith to their children. When I first moved into the community, I noticed that most of the believers in these churches were over 60 years of age. Today, there are still many large congregations populated primarily with older people. The probability of these churches existing in two decades is small.
  1. Churches eventually fail because 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 their community's changing demographics so they can stay ahead of the curve. I once warned a group of pastors that they would not have a church in 20 years if they did not adapt their strategies to the rapid gentrification taking place in their communities. To reach specific people groups, a church has to focus on developing leaders who can effectively represent that group. Eventually, such leaders should be given a prominent role in decision-making and public ministry.
  1. Churches eventually fail because 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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