Following on from church this morning we continued the discussion about passing on an inheritance to the next generation over lunch.
It would seem that everything comes and eventually goes. Empires rise and fall. Politicians are voted in on a wave of enthusiasm only to be kicked our with a equal wave of discontent. Companies & brands come and go. The merry go round keeps turning.
A quick read through the Old Testament suggests that God's people were also on a fair ground ride a roller coaster. Sometimes in one generation they could go from glory to failure. They always seemed to be REbuilding rather than just building.
Is that same pattern what we are destined for. A move of God followed by a steady slow decline only for a future generation to have to rebuild. Or can we build & pass on for the next generation to build some more. Can our ceiling become their floor.
So I have been thinking about some of the characteristics you see in a church that is going through this decline.
I am sure that their are many more but here are my initial thoughts:
- Focused on the past instead of the future.
- Disconnect of beliefs to action.
- Know it all rather than an attitude of learning.
- Internal disagreements.
- Internally rather the externally focused.
- Failure to recognise and develop next generation leadership.
- Avoidance of risk leading to an over reliance on self where God is not needed.