Church, Ten Commandments for Church Failure

Ten Commandments for Church Failure #1 – Quit Taking Risks

These posts are adapted from Donald Keough’s excellent book The Ten commandments for Business Failure. This book was such an excellent source of common sense and probable one of the best books I’ve read in some time.

There are no guarantees in church leadership. There is no way to say for sure that this strategy or that program will be a good fit for your particular situation. While there might be no way to guarantee success, there are some ways to guarantee failure.

The world belongs to the discontented. –Oscar Wilde

The first thing you can do to make sure your church fails is to quit taking risks. This is easier in the church than it is probably anywhere else in the world. It is so easy to decide that whatever state you are in, you can be complacent.

But the same apostle Paul who said, “I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content” [Philippians 4:11] also said “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:13-14].

If you want to make your church fail, then by all means become complacent. Let your vision lose focus; expect comfort and assurance for yourself; shrug off the challenge of the Holy Spirit to reach the world as something for others to do. Hire professional Christians to do everything for you rather than doing it yourself. And by all means, avoid any chance you might lose anything when you try to do something. If you did something that worked before, then just keep doing it. Do not, at any cost, try something you’ve never done before.


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