12 Ways You Can Hurt Your Church

What’s the best church in your area? The answer is actually quite simple.

The best church in the world is the one God plants you in to be fruitful in. Over the 20 years that I have been involved in pastoring, helping churches and carrying leadership responsibilities, I have noticed some clear things that help contribute the church and some very clear things that do erode the church’s potential.

Although this list could include so much more than what I have here, the following are some key mindsets and behaviors that hurt the life of the church.

[bctt tweet=”The best church in the world is the one God plants you in to be fruitful in.”]

1. Don’t see your importance and value in the body.

This one is of top priority, because it is critical that each person see their value and importance. They also need to understand their value is directly connected to the rest of the family. I think many problems in the church come down to people not seeing themselves as a value to the body of Christ. So when they don’t grow, they don’t see it as a big deal. When they arrive late, they don’t think it affects anyone. When you don’t see value in yourself, you lose sight of how your life affects everyone else.

In helping people, I notice everyone has little traps in thought that end up “taking them out.” The attacks often happen at critical times, usually when its time to gather as a church family. This is when people get taken out the most. When their value in who they are is needed, something comes up and they lose sight of it quickly. They get derailed over and over again, simply because they do not see themselves as important in the body of Christ.

When you see your value, then you see the importance of bringing your full self to the church.

[bctt tweet=”Many problems in the church come down to people not seeing themselves as a value.”]

2. Don’t come.

When problems arise, isolate in them. Instead of pressing in further with God and those in the body, allow those problems to take you out. We must be ever so aware of how our challenges will seek to take us off of our assignment. Sometimes the battle is just in whether or not you will show up. It seems like today, people will let anything, from the weather or a bad mood keep them from gathering with brother and sisters.

If you do come, make sure it’s late.

I find that in many churches, so many powerful things happen from beginning to end. Many people arrive late because of their own bad habits, while others skip the time set aside for worship. They see that as unecasary warm up songs and they just come to hear the message. Yet they miss out, because from start to finish the Spirit of God needs to weave the work of God into the midst. When we come late, we end up having to play “catch up” to what the Spirit is doing.

3. Find fault with everything.

This is the world of a critical spirit. Its like Statler and Waldorf on the Muppet Show, finding a way to criticize and mock many of the things that take place. When sit “in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1) we position ourselves into a dangerous arena, no matter how right we think we are. Fault finders can always SPOT a problem, but they never SOLVE a problem. They are definitely church killers.

[bctt tweet=”Fault finders can always SPOT a problem, but they never SOLVE a problem.”]

4. Never accept responsibility to change.

To ruin the health of the church, place all the responsibility for your growth on the church and everyone else. This is detrimental, because only you can take responsibility for your growth.

[bctt tweet=”Only you can take responsibility for your own growth.”]

5. Never take ownership for the life of the church.

Many people have a “renters” mentality when it comes to church; so they take no ownership in what happens. If the church is struggling, they shake their head, but go home and live life as though nothing happened. They do not have a vested spiritual investment in the body. Those who breathe life into the church take ownership for their part to help solve problems and be a part of the solution.

[bctt tweet=”Problem with many in the church is they are renters, not owners.”]

When you rent an apartment, if something breaks, you call the landlord to fix it. Since you don’t own it, you have no obligation to fix it. There are too many people renting pews (and some pulpits).

6. Don’t work on your issues.

Over time, if we don’t deal with our lives, it creates a drag in the flow of the church moving forward. This doesnt mean we have to be perfect. It just means that we should not be coasting–but day by day, we are letting God work on our lives. This will show and enhance the life of the body. When we dont, other people end up carrying extra burdens.

7. Get caught up in toxic communication.

I almost made this number one, because a lack of healthy communication destroys so many churches. What is being said is off, or what is being heard is off. Maybe both are off. That is why I so passionately teach on the rejection spirit, because this stronghold interferes with communication being effective and clear.

8. Develop a bad attitude towards leadership.

Most people leave churches over an issue with leadership. They do not like the style, personality, relational approach or even perceived doctrinal positions of people in leadership. Leadership can certain have its flaws and errors, but we tend to quickly blame people in authority, coming out of our unhealed wounds.

Our culture today has many issues with authority. As soon as a leader rubs us the wrong way, we withdraw and find another group to connect with. We havent been trained to honor authority and to work through issues.

9. Never serve.

It’s far easier to criticize than to mobilize. As Seth Godin says, “No one has ever built a statue to a critic.” If we want to make a difference, we have to accept the responsibility to lead — whether formally or informally.

Leadership is not about position; it’s about influence. Everyone in the body needs to see the power of their influence and use it to edify the body. A congregation full of followers is on life support and is getting ready to die.

10. Get mad if you’re not appointed to a position.

Your insecurities will rise up to take you out at some point, even training you to be hurt because you are not being “used enough.”

The Bible teaches that our gift will make room for us. Many people bypass the blessing of God, because they feel they should be given a role, often sooner than God’s timing.

11. Hold back on your giving to the Lord.

No matter what your position on money, it takes finances to run the church and also to provide resource those the church is impacting. It doesnt matter if your church meets in a giant building or in your home, generosity increases the influence of the church in the region and beyond.

12. Don’t reach out to others or nonbelievers.

It’s time we move from building church transfers to reaching people for the Gospel and walking with them into the life of our church. This is not your pastors burden, but the calling of everyone in the body.

Question: Which of the 12 here is the most deadly to you? What do you feel is something that hurts the church that is not mentioned here?