from Thom Rainer:
Nine out of ten churches in America are either declining, or they are growing so slowly they are not keeping up with the growth rate of the community in which they are located.
It's a long sentence. Read it again carefully. Soak it in. Across America 90 percent of the churches are losing ground in their respective communities. Most of them are declining. Many of them will close.
Why has this tragedy fallen on so many churches? Though I don't want to oversimplify the issue, I see at least eight reasons for this crisis.
1. They are trying to shelter themselves from culture.
2. Programs were easy answers.
3. Churches largely catered to the needs of church members in the 1980s. We thus created a culture of membership that is me-driven.
4. Change was more incremental.
5. Church growth was easier.
6. Denominations provided solutions.
7. Others did evangelism for the members in the 1980s.
8. Some churches would rather die than to get out of the comfort of their 1980's paradigm.
The details of each can be found here.