Churches Thriving or Struggling
Let's be honest about something: most churches in America are plateaued or declining numerically. I would suggest -- although I have nothing on which to base this other than anecdotal evidence -- that they are also plateaued or declining in terms of the growth of its members. If the statistical research of the Barna Group and others is to be believed, people who attend church don't behave differently from those who do not attend church when it comes to divorce, addiction, abuse, etc. The lack of discipleship has been, for far too long, the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.
The good news is that churches seem to be more open about acknowledging this sad state of affairs. The bad news is nobody seems to have a good answer to the problem.
I have some thoughts about how a church could develop a strategy for discipleship, but what started me thinking about this today is that, in that same questionnaire that asked me to name the three most important theological issues of our day, I was also asked the following:
What would you say are the three most important factors determining whether a church thrives or struggles?
How would you answer that one?