With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #34.
From a human standpoint, the future of this congregation is bleak. When we visited, eleven people showed up. In addition to my wife and me, there were the leaders’ family of five, who go to another church and live forty-five minutes away. That makes seven visitors and only four regulars – and one of them walked in half way through the service.
Four people, all non-leaders, are not much of a foundation for rebuilding a church. If this church survives, it will certainly be because of God’s power and not through the efforts of people, regardless of their dedication or how hard they work.
I wonder if it’s time to say enough is enough and shut the church down. Surely there are other needs or opportunities these leaders could focus on that would have a better chance of success and produce more fruit.
Though many people think that a particular local church should exist in perpetuity, we shouldn’t look at a church as an institution but as an organic entity. Like everything organic, it has a life cycle and will one day die. Today may be that day.