I have been asked a number of times what the formula is for a church that wants to turn around a decline. There are any number of things a church can – and should do – to make things new and to spur growth. But I don’t believe there is one singular formula that will turn every church around.
However, I do believe there is a simple formula that will spur on the death of a church. I call it the “D3 Formula”.
It goes like this: Denial + Delay = Death
Thousands of churches close their doors for good every year in the United States. Dozens every single week. And typically they didn’t end up in critical condition overnight. For years they denied they had a problem. Even as attendance lagged and the congregation demographic rose – the church believed “everything was okay”.
Then after years of denial, someone noticed their church was in trouble, and decided something needed to be done. However, after so many years of denial – delaying action just seemed natural. Instead of doing something – anything – to try to reverse the slide – the congregation waited to do what needed to be done. Think about it. If you know you’re facing pain – don’t you attempt to put that off as long as possible. The same thing happens in the local church.
My hope and prayer for the local church in America is they break out of denial and stop delaying. That local congregations across the nation realize their reality and move in an intense, intentional way to turn their church around – and begin to once again have a Kingdom Impact on their local community.
The Mission of the local church is far too important to wait any longer.
Don’t Deny. Don’t Delay. Do Something Now.