Recently, church growth "guru" Ed Stetzer posted a study of small churches. The study was completed by Lifeway Research. It specifically reflects on challenges for small churches. I'll summarize here. Opinions are welcome.
1. Time - Many pastors are bi-vocational causing pressure to juggle responsibilities
2. Resistance - Most churches are resistant to change leading to stagnation. The encouragement provided includes being faithful to God's Word and raising the "bar" of expectations.
3. Lack of Commitment - Apathy and indifference is prevalent in all churches. Small churches experience a greater impact with their ministry.
4. Too few workers - Many times, the pastor is seen as a "hired gun." This leads to fewer people with responsibilities.
5. Age of congregation - Young people aren't attracted to older congregations.
The church has to be intentional about reaching the younger demographics of their community.
6. Lack of money - Lack of "giving units" leads to less money leading to less ministry. Churches must continue to teach the importance of tithing.
7. Worldliness - The study points out "cultural seepage." In other words, catering to the community has caused the church to be influenced by the world.
8. Age of the pastor - Many pastors said they were too old to concentrate on outreach.
9. Too few people - Many said not enough help was available.
10. Demographics - In many ways, the community around the church was growing but the church was not growing.