5 Questions You Should Ask Your Church

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Church

Oct 26, 2017

John J. Pethtel

Director Church Development & Pastoral Services

Here are 5 questions leaders can ask if their church stops growing:

One of the best things any leader can do when he is in a tough spot is to stop making

assumptions and start asking questions. Our assumptions got us to where we are, but they won’t necessarily get us where we need to go.

1. What is our mission?

Often a church that has stopped growing has lost the urgency behind its mission. This is doubly sad in the case of a church because our mission is actually Christ’s mission…it’s the spread of the Gospel into the world for which Jesus died. Leaders and congregations that are effective in accomplishing their mission are consumed by their mission.


2. Are we focused on unchurched people or on ourselves?

The gravitational pull of any church is toward insiders, not outsiders. Left unattended, your church will become a place where the preferences of the members trump passion for the mission. There are two primary ways to address this drift:

1. In every decision, focus on who you want to reach, not who you want to keep.

2. Commit to losing yourself for the sake of finding others.


3. Has our strategy or approach become dated?

While the mission of the church is eternal, strategy should shift from generation to generation. The challenge in long term leadership is that the changes that you introduced may have been novel and effective when you introduced them…but it’s not 1995 anymore…or 2005 for that matter. How do you tell if your strategy is dated? When it stops being effective.

4. Are we on top of the constant change in our culture?

While you’re studying your strategy, you might also want to study culture. It’s changing,

radically and quickly. We now live in a post-Christian, post-modern world. That’s true in Canada. It’s increasingly true in the United States. In my experience, many of us in church leadership don’t really grasp the enormity of the change going on around us.


5. When was the last time I personally invited someone to church?

The reality is many Christians, for a variety of reasons, don’t actually spend time with that many non-Christians. If almost no one at your church knows any unchurched people, it’s

no mystery why your church isn’t growing. So why not go build some real friendships? And before you say we should be “in the world but not of it,” please read the Gospels again.

If you want some help in diagnosing or evaluating the health of your church, the PULSE process is for you. Please contact the Director of Church Development for more information.


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