“The decision to close the church was “very, very hard,” said church council president Lance Michaelson. But the council decided that rather than spend its remaining dollars keeping up the church, they would use the money to keep up its cemetery, where so many loved ones are laid to rest — and where many members plan to be, too.” – Star Tribune Article
This quote was from an article I recently read about a church closing. The statement stunned me. Now, if you’ll read the full article you’ll understand the context fo the quote, but it got me wondering how many pastors, youth pastors, and church leaders are keeping up the cemetery instead of putting money, energy and effort into keeping the church vibrant.
I understand there is only so much one can do for a church if the community around it is dwindling and leaving for the “big city”, but I also believe that humans are slow to adaptation and change.
Many a church has closed because it did not want to reach the people around them or the people God brought them. When people resist change, death has has been signaled to begin it’s march.
If I had a church and I had to close it due to lack of membership, I would have considered it losing, and I hate losing. I wonder, could have been done to stop this church from closing? Here are a few questions I would ask
How often did the church reach out to the broken and hurting?
Did the church embrace technology?
Was there a mindset of growth or a fixed mindset of “whatever will be will be?”
How much of the budget was put into reaching teens and kids when the church was in it’s hay day? If the budget was big, why did you stop giving to it?
Were your members wiling to change? If you knew in your hey day, what would happen to your church, what would you have changed?
One again, I don’t judge this church. There are a ton of factors that go into why a church closes from demographics to poor leadership and a dozen in-between.
Everything on this earth has a last day, including churches, but let’s not turn our our focus, our budgets, and hearts away from giving our best effort to keeping the living vibrant and engaged in reaching the lost to keeping the dead comfortable.