Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Biblically Defined Growth Barriers

One of the things that I appreciate about Ed Stetzer's newest book, Comeback Churches, is that he places an emphasis upon the spiritual as well as the methodological causes of church effectiveness. Included in the book is a list of 30 spiritual barriers to conversion growth within the church. I have found myself going through the list several times now looking for deficiencies in my church. I really think that Ed has hit upon a key to the ineffectiveness of the contemporary church in his list. Let me list just a few of his biblically-defined growth barriers. Consider whether any of these might be true of your church. These are just the ones that I am most concerned about in my church.

Churches aren't concerned about God's glory, believing the church is just for them (Isa. 42:8; 48:11).

Pastors are more concerned about self-interests than about God and His people (Phil. 2:21).

Traditional practices are done without a heart for God (Mal. 1:6).

Sin is not dealt with, bringing weakness to the church (1 Cor. 5:5-7).

A lack of love for Christ devastates the church (1 cor. 16:22; Rev. 2:4).

A lack of unity brings division (John 17:23; Col. 3:12-15).

A lack of love within the body creates strained relationships (John 13:35).

Lukewarmness in the church becomes prevalent (Rev. 3:16).

Lack of true and earnest prayer in the church leaves people powerless (Matt. 6:9; 2 thess. 3:1).

Saints are not doing the work of service in the body (Eph. 4:12).

People are not growing spiritually (Eph. 4:12-16).

Pride in a church will always bring it down (1 Pet. 5:5; Prov. 6:17).

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