How to Keep Your Church from Growing

You keep telling us what we need to do to grow. But what if I don’t want my church to grow?  Any suggestions?

I assume you are being facetious.  But I’ll play along.  Here’s a short list of the common things you can do to keep your church from growing:

  1. Don’t set any goals or make any long term plans.  Just coast along month after month and before you know it your sanctuary will empty.
  2. Don’t have any organized outreach activities.  Since an organized effort always accomplishes more, stay away from any group outreach activities.
  3. If you do plan any outreach activities, make sure they are older than Methuselah.  Don’t even think about trying anything new or different.  It might work.
  4. Avoid delegating anything. As pastor, try to do everything yourself.  This way you will quickly run out of time and very little will get done.
  5. Don’t organize your church’s ministries.  Rather than everyone working for a common goal, let each church ministry do their own thing.
  6. Don’t be friendly to your visitors.  Just ignore them and they will not want to come back.
  7. Don’t follow-up on visitors.  This would include sending letters, making phone calls, visiting them, etc.  Doing any of these might encourage them to return.
  8. Don’t read any books on church growth or attend any growth seminars.  And make sure none of your church leaders does any of these things either.
  9. Don’t teach any home Bible studies.  Don’t train your people to do them either. In fact, never mention the subject.
  10. Don’t advertise your church.  Especially if your church does not sit a main road.  This way no one will know where you are.
  11. Don’t do any new convert care activities.  Adopt a ‘sink or swim’ attitude toward all converts.  Totally ignore the three basic needs of converts:  instruction, fellowship and involvement.
  12. Don’t pray for revival.  Don’t encourage your saints to do this either.
  13. Ridicule others who want to grow. Emphasize that only quality, not quantity, is important. Those who want to grow are just playing a ‘numbers game.’
  14. Make no plans to build or relocate.  Keep your vision small.  After all, what you now have is paid off.  Who needs a mortgage payment?
  15. Say the days of revival are past.  Preach that in the end-time there will be a ‘great falling away.’ After all, the proof will be your own church.