The last Step according to the book “How the Mighty Fall”, by Jim Collins.
As I read this chapter, I was disheartened and discouraged. I hate to see anything (that is built on the good of others) fail. Especially the Church!
But do Churches fail? It’s an interesting question. A few weeks ago, I drove by a building with a steeple that had a “for sale sign” in front of it. From it’s appearance, the community had run out of money and, from the condition of their building, they had run out of hope. They couldn’t even mow their yard or freshen up the exterior.
But does that mean the Church failed?
I believe what Scripture says when Christ says “I will build My Church”.
He doesn’t say, “I will destroy my Church”. His statement is positive! God doesn’t want any Church to fail. He gives us the basis for a Church to succeed. It is His salvation that is the foundation for the Church. And even when local churches fail, HIS Church (the global Church) succeeds.
So why do local ministries fail? It’s not because God wants them too. It’s always because men (and/or women) become involved. I think the first 4 steps to failure have shown that it’s our foolish attempts at rescuing the Church, that causes it to fail.
We can do ALL things through Christ, who gives us strength. It when we try things in our own power, that we fail miserably.
If you find yourself in Stage 5, you’ll be tired, you’ve exhausted all your plans, people are no longer interested in what the local church has to offer. You’ll have lost hope. And probably all your money too.
But like everything in life, when hope is gone, Jesus is. As we look through the scriptures of people who are seemingly down and out, with no hope, we see that God wants to rescue them and put a new robe on them. We know that in God alone, we have hope.
So what to do? If you are in Steps 1-4, I implore you to return to the ONE who builds Churches. Look at what the original vision for the Church is. The faster you return to it, the faster God will start to build it.
- Find Hope in Christ. He builds the Church.
- Return to Solid Management Disciplines and the original Vision/Purpose of the Church.
- Be willing to step aside and allow the local Church to shed the things that don’t matter.
Anyone who has other advice, or has experienced local Church failure, please comment below. I pray that all who read this will never have to experience the fall of a Church. Let us bear one another’s burdens!