Response to Change: Denial of Change

A few churches in denial look out their windows and wonder why their neighborhoods have changed all around them while their members have remained the same.

More churches in denial have raised their children, who have moved away. Members carry their parts of ministry forward as they grow older and wearier, looking for more children and youth to grow up and take over for them but who leave instead.

Most churches in denial have either passively or actively kept their church the one place in their lives that does not change. Worship and other activities remain what they used to be, except more sparsely attended, and the “family feeling” among the members is strong, while newcomers may have a hard time belonging or even joining, so they don’t stay.

Churches in denial keep things pretty quiet, so it takes a massive change to shake them up. But massive changes arrive, and the church in denial has to come up with ways to respond that they’ve never developed. Most cannot cope. So they die, quietly, perhaps never realizing what overcame them.

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