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Root Cause for the Church’s decline

Root Cause for the Church’s decline

Blog Post 4 - Boy in Church Crowd (iStock_000059309450_Small) 1

Assumption #1: Members/attenders ARE the Church


Assumption #2: Churches today tend to approach members/attenders as if they were the “customer”


By definition, if members ARE the Church, they cannot be the Church’s “customer”.

You can’t have it both ways… 

Assumption #1 is mutually exclusive of Assumption #2.  Members/attenders can’t be both the Church and the customer.  They are one or the other.

Yet few churches today live out the belief that members are the church.  Churches inadvertently define the church as the pastors, staff and buildings and treat members/attenders as “customers” when they invest the vast majority of their time, energy and money in attracting and retaining them – using similar methods and means as businesses.

As a result, nearly all churches have it backwards:

  • Accountability and expectations OF members are way too low
  • Programs and amenities FOR members are way too high
Instead of: We:
  • Challenging them
  • Cater to them
  • Leveraging them (as the hands and feet of Christ)
  • Are careful not to inconvenience them
  • Training/discipling them
  • Make discipling optional
  • Sending them out into ministry
  • Focus them on serving internally
  • Holding them accountable (for impacting the world around them)
  • Require little or no accountability

It’s no wonder that American churchgoers feel like consumers today – “shopping” churches to see who best meets their expectations – and not as the living, breathing Church called and equipped to light the world on fire for Christ.

Quite simply…the Church has defined the wrong “customer”

It stands to reason that the Church in America today is not “succeeding” – it has defined the wrong “customer”!  Members ARE the Church.  Someone else is the Church’s “customer”.

A key lesson I learned in over a decade consulting Fortune 1000 companies
is that 
any organization not focused on its customers or investing too heavily in the wrong customers
will not succeed.   

Over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss Jesus’ model and who the early Church considered to be its “customer”.  In fact, that “customer” was the focus of the Church until around 100 years ago.

We’ll also lay out a roadmap for transitioning to a view of “customers” consistent with Biblical mandates, the early Church and all successful businesses.

It’s your turn…

Does your church truly practice what we preach when the pastor says to the congregation, “You ARE the church”?  If it did, would it have a greater impact and be perceived better by the world around it?


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Root cause for the Church's decline & its path to Revitalization

“Any organization not focused on its customers, or focused on the wrong customers, cannot succeed.” – Jim Morgan