How should the church, and we as ministers, respond to decline? It seems our normal way is to try to be ever more inclusive (just look at many of the mainline churches in the North American context). Is there perhaps a correlation between excessive inclusiveness and decline? But is this really the best response to decline of pastoral applicants and shrinking congregations? The following is a Facebook post by Chris Green that rather provocatively offers an answer to the question at hand:
I don’t think it’s possible to agree more with someone than I do with Fabricius on this point: “How should the church respond to congregational decline, financial deficits, and vocational shrinkage? The answer is obvious: make ministerial selection more stringent, theological education more demanding, and spiritual formation more exacting. And burn anyone who proposes a managerial or entrepreneurial solution.”
So what are your thoughts? Should our churches develop better “business” models to try to grow the declining church…or should our churches become ever more rigorous in our requirements? Or is there some other direction the Church should take?
Originally published by me at bluechippastors.org on December 12, 2012.