It’s no fun feeling stuck. And we sometimes don’t even know we’re stuck until there’s an epiphany that we want things to change.

I work with churches that find themselves stuck and ministry among the stuck feels exhausting, mostly because there is little room for the Spirit to do life-giving things.  There are at least three things that make a congregation stuck:

  1. They are in survival mode.  There is fear that one bad decision and the church will close.  And so no decisions are made.  
  2. “They’ve always done it that way.” The world has shifted. Life in 2021 looks different from life thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago, but the church is still organized, still doing mission, still doing worship exactly like they did it decades ago.  And it feels dated even to the people who have always done it that way.
  3. They have lost their spiritual energy.  Maybe a church bully has drained it.  Maybe poor leadership has squelched it. Maybe they’ve tried to be Good Church People for so long that they’ve forgotten that God inspires us to so much more than maintenance of an institution.

So, here’s the question: are we okay being stuck or would we like to be moved in the name of Jesus Christ?  This is the question for congregations discerning what’s next.

Image of Indiana Jones dealing with quicksand – the curse of adventure heroes everywhere.

2 responses to “Stuck

  1. Pingback: Getting Unstuck | A Church for Starving Artists

  2. “If we change anything, we won’t survive. And we’re too old to do anything.” sigh. One reported a conversation with a similarly elderly friend who lamented that “there aren’t any churches for us old people any more.” Life is so much better since they cut me off.


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