A few years ago Marcus wrote an article for Evangelicals Now in which he discussed ten reasons why churches stall. It looks as though you will need a subscription (or a free 14-day trial) to access the complete article, but here is a summary:
Sometimes churches stall and it isn’t always easy to tell from the inside what is wrong. But you don’t necessarily have to know what is wrong to know that something is wrong. When a stall occurs one common option is to look at superficial things like style of services or meeting times. It is rare to find a church daring enough to ask if there might be a more foundational hole in the fuel tank. Here are ten common spiritual reasons why churches stall.
- The church forgets who we are and what we are for
- The majority of believers are no longer thrilled with the Lord and what he is doing in their lives
- The people get happy with not going anywhere because of the comfort and refreshments on offer
- When filler-Christians who have no real commitment to gospel vision outnumber the core of committed believers who do
- When a large percentage of the church are used to being passive receivers of ministry from other people rather than being active self-feeders on the Word of God
- No life application from the Bible
- A church becomes afraid to ask radical questions
- Confusing Christian activities with discipleship
- Not understanding how to release and encourage everyone in the church to use their spiritual gifts for the building up of the church
- Moving into maintenance mode
If you read the complete article, you will discover what Marcus believes to be the single biggest cause of stalled churches in the UK.