I’ve worked with a number of churches in decline. One thing I’ve noticed that is fairly consistent among declining churches is what they do once they realize they are in decline. (The same is true of other organizations, BTW.)
They dig their heels into the tradition that got them where they are today.
They go back to what’s comfortable. They resist any changes in what they’ve done before, hoping to avert future decline.
They do what they feel they can trust. They refuse to try anything new. They stop dreaming. They quit taking risks.
Afraid of losing everything, they go back to what they know best. It seems to make sense I suppose, but in the meantime, ironically, they perpetuate the problem and face further decline.
In fact, they resist walking by faith, defaulting to walk by sight.
Could the best thing to do during a period of decline be to introduce change?
Would trying something new make more sense?
Would a fresh dose of exploring new territory faith-building be more appropriate?