Does this sound like your church? 1- Church members desire to keep the church one big family
2- People hold positions (office) but do not hold power
3- Pastor carries expectations no one can live up to
4- tradition has more pull than vision
5- Church has a desire to do more, not less
Cary Nieuwhef says these are characteristics of a dying church. If you have 3 out of 5, count yourself on the decline. Churches are not the "family of God," churches are "households of God." A household will have people who just came off the street, persons who are strangers, who sometimes act like strangers, but have the same hunger that you have, to feel more connection with God.
Some churches have elected offices for show. These officers are not the decision makers. These folks do not have power. The decision makers gather in the parking lot, after the called meeting has been adjourned, to make the real decisions.
Some pastors proclaim "our church will feed 1000 persons during Lent this year." After Easter, as the effort is evaluated, the church is unable to celebrate their accomplishment because 600 meals served feels like a failure when the expectation was 1000.
Many churches look to the past for their identity rather than saying "our past was great but our best days are still ahead of us!"
Some churches continue to do 25 things or more with uneven results, when they may be better served doing 4 things in the highest quality possible.
Examine your congregation closely. The church for tomorrow practices self-awareness. Don't let your congregation be trapped in these 5 dysfunctions. Name the dysfunctions and move toward a more healthy local church culture.