25 Nov More Thoughts on Momentum
Steve Dennie, Communications Director
A few days ago, I mentioned something Andy Stanley said concerning momentum. Here’s another one of his thoughts.
In the church world, we put up with lack of momentum as long as we can still pay the bills.
Now there’s a sad thought. “I am financially viable, therefore I exist.” Is your church in that boat?
Too many churches choose to limp along, keeping the doors open, as long as they can pay the bills. The only momentum is downward. Meanwhile, they shoo away opportunities which would be to their long-term good–like merging with a nearby church. Such a move would make both churches stronger. No longer stuck in survival mode, they could devote resources to ministry.
It makes compelling sense, in theory. But in practice, too many issues prevent it from happening–issues of pride, control, hope, or a historic enmity with the nearby church. I think that’s what prevented my mom’s home church from merging with a nearby UB church. When they could no longer pay the bills, they sold the church for a private home. I was told that the new home decor included beer cans lined up on the altar rail.
That’s a constant lament and frustration at the national office–that weak UB churches located near each other refuse to join forces for a brighter future. I’m sure this is an issue in every denomination.
We’ve had local church mergers, and the result has always been a stronger church–PraisePoint in Willshire, Ohio; New Horizons in Rockford, Ohio; Lake View in Camden, Mich.; and a few others. A number of other UB churches are in a position to merge, and it would thrill my heart to see it happen.
And it would thrill the heart of people in those churches to be part of something with momentum. That sure beats existing under the downer cloud of “just paying the bills.”