In Part 1 of this article, we talked about six common barriers that keep churches from growing. These are barriers you will have to address, particularly if you want your church to continue to grow after doing a spiritual growth campaign.
Remember that a church becomes healthy by removing the barriers and balancing the purposes. In this article, I want to talk about four more barriers that hinder church growth.
Churches have teaching without application.
Interpretation without application is abortion. You are aborting the text, because the Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives. Focus on obedience in your message. Take the Word and make it come alive.
The congregation doesn’t trust their leaders.
Everything you do as a leader is built on trust. If you lose their trust, you may as well resign. It takes years to build trust, but you can lose it in an instant. You must build credibility to earn the right to lead. When you go to a bank to ask for a loan, the first thing they do is check your credit. If you are creditable, then you are worthy of the bank’s trust. People are doing a credit check on your leadership every second of your life. You build trust by loving people and liking people. How do you get people to like you? Like them!
The more you trust your people and show your vulnerability, the more they’re going to trust you. We actually help people more through our weaknesses than our strengths. If I share my strengths with you, it doesn’t help people. But if I share my weaknesses and how God came through in spite of them, it encourages people to keep going. You get people to trust you more by authentic and humble leadership.
The church is being killed by legalism.
Many churches are more interested in keeping rules rather than relationships. Jesus always chose relationships over rules. People mattered more than keeping the Sabbath. There is a difference between acceptance and approval. Jesus accepts me completely, but he doesn’t approve of everything I do. Acceptance doesn’t mean approval, but it does mean love.
Churches are structured for control rather than growth.
This is a big issue, one that we’ll have to come back to next week.