Steps Toward Health that Most Churches Won’t be Willing to Take

Church healthBy Stan Rieb, Executive Director

James Emery White is one of my favorite authors/bloggers when it comes to connecting the church to the current culture, thus the name of his blog – Church and Culture ( It is one of a few blogs and podcasts that I think every pastor should subscribe to or regularly review. I will share some of the other significant communicators in future blogs.

This morning’s blog – Ten Steps to Immediate Church Renewal and Growth (that most churches will refuse to take) – speaks to the issues that I see in many churches I work with.

Here are those steps Ten Steps to Immediate Church Renewal and Growth (that most churches will refuse to take):

  1. Simplify your structure by putting the authority to make most decisions related to the practice of ministry in the hands of those with responsibility. Translation: let your leaders lead.
  2. Hire young, platform young, program young. Why? You attract who you platform, and most churches are growing old.
  3. Become more contemporary in terms of music and graphics, décor and topics, website and signage. It’s 2015. Really. You can check.
  4. Stop preaching and start communicating. There’s a difference.
  5. Shift the outreach focus away from the already convinced toward those who are not. It’s called the Great Commission.
  6. Prioritize your children’s ministry in terms of money and staffing, square footage and resources. Do you really not know, after all this time, that the children’s ministry is your most important ministry for outreach and growth?
  7. “It’s the weekend,
  8. Help everyone find their spiritual gifts and then help them channel those gifts toward ministry.
  9. Target men. Get the man, you tend to get the family.
  10. Proclaim the full counsel of God without compromise or dilution. All you get with a watered-down message is a watered-down church. And a watered-down church has nothing to offer the world it does not already have.

The question is why do so many churches refuse to address the fact that they are plateaued and declining in attendance. More significant than the attendance numbers is the fact that there are very few indicators that many of these churches are interested in being obedient to the Great Commission.

After looking over these 10 steps:

  • Which steps resonate with you in your current ministry environment?
  • Which steps touch a nerve, causing you concern?
  • Can you think of other steps that a church in need of renewal and growth might want to consider?

Over the next couple of blogs I would like to address my understanding of some of the points that Pastor White addresses in this post.