Friday, July 13, 2018

Hey Dr. Fletch … Hi! My church of 2,000 members has dwindled from over 2,000 members to barely 300. What should I do?

DRF—Thanks for your note. There must be lots of history behind your question. So, it’s hard to answer without knowing more. Declines can be due to people moving, cities changing, splits, changes of leadership or staff.

The facility costs are most likely enormous for a church of 300. That may be a major headache. Then there will be problems of morale and people feeling like “this isn’t what it used to be.” 

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • If God is calling you to stay, consider the causes for the decline. There may need to be a season of repentance and confession if there has been issues of sin, such as a divisive spirit, immorality or gossip.
  • Is it time to consider merging with another church? This often brings in fresh leadership and new people. Some churches merge and do a video of the message. I have seen this where there has been an enormous uptick in active believers added to a church.
  • If God is not calling you to stay, then you need to listen to Him. What is God asking you to do?

These are some thoughts on a challenging issue. May they be of help. Let me know!