By Ken Blue
All of us have heard of the tragic results when doctors make a mistake and give the patient the wrong injection or pills. Many times the results are fatal. That is one reason others should be brought in to assist and assure that mistakes are not made.
I’m sure no pastor or church member would purposely inject a church with ministry concepts that would kill it. In most cases the intended goal is to make the church better. However, many of those decisions are based on preferences rather than on proven methods.
A few years ago, at a preacher’s conference, I heard a pastor criticize churches larger than his own by accusing them of being an “inch deep and a mile wide.” I discovered that his church was neither an inch deep nor an inch wide. I was more like ¼ inch in both directions.
One sure way to kill a church is to put more emphasis on maturity than reaching the lost. When a church becomes more concerned about teaching than reaching, it is only a matter of time till rigor mortis sets in. The leadership then continues to inject embalming fluid, in an attempt to make the corpse appear to be alive. The shift to teaching will kill church growth.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]One sure way to kill a church is to put more emphasis on teaching than reaching.[/pullquote]
Another sure way to kill a church is to have a dead, dull music service. Dr. Jack Hyles built one of the largest churches in America. I personally heard him say that the KEY to an exciting church is atmosphere. Music and decor set the atmosphere. So liven up and mix up your music. You cannot have an Episcopal song service, a Lutheran sermon, and a Pentecostal invitation.
Finally, you kill a church by making sure that your preaching’s only purpose is to fill up the 11:00 hour. The average pastor has no purpose or theme in his messages to reach the purpose statement of the church; if it has one. Can you connect your sermons, lessons, activities, and advertisement to your church purpose statement? If not, your statement means nothing, or your sermons serve no purpose.
If I had to choose, which I did not, between a church that was “an inch deep and a mile wide or a church that was a mile deep and an inch wide,” the choice would be easy. I would take the wider church every time. I have no interest in a handful of “deeper life Christians” that sit around and criticize those of us who have not reached their spiritual depth. Also, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who gets saved than there is over your deeper life sermon. So, aim at reaching the lost and infuse new life in your church.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.