Rainer’s Ten Warning Signs

In a recent blog Dr. Thom Rainer listed 10 warning signs for churches from his years of consulting.    If a church had four or more of these signs present, he would let the leadership know that remedial efforts were in order. If six or more signs were present, then he became concerned that the congregation was in immediate trouble.

These warning signs are not in any particular order and are not backed up by any scientific study.   However I found these to be very insightful and helpful in diagnosing the health of a church.

Look at these to glean where your church is. Church leaders should be concerned …

  1. If the pastor does not have adequate time to be in the Word or if he chooses not to do so.
  2. If the members are spending time arguing about how money should be spent.
  3. If none or only a few of the key leaders are actively sharing their faith.
  4. If there is no clear process of discipleship in place, just a plethora of programs and activities.
  5. If corporate prayer is not a major emphasis in the church.
  6. If church members are arguing about worship style or worship times.
  7. If church members expect the paid staff to do most of the ministry, instead of the staff equipping the members to do the work of ministry (“Why didn’t he visit me in the hospital?”)
  8. If there are ongoing disagreements about matters of the church facilities.
  9. If the church has more meetings than new disciples.
  10. If the leadership of the church does not have a coherent plan for what is taught in small groups and Sunday School classes.

As you look at this list you will quickly see that some churches focus out and some focus in.  Some know their mission and some are confused about what they should be doing.

You also see the issue of church members who are more concerned about their own preferences, needs and desires rather than seeing the big picture of reaching lost people.  

The problem here is a spiritual one.  We must be more intentional in growing our members to be disciples who understand the mission Jesus gave us to do.  

If we don’t we will simply maintain what we have while people in the shadow of our steeples are dying and going to hell while we spend precious energy and time arguing over carpet colors, music styles, and non-kingdom issues.

Keep the Son in your Eyes,

Mike James

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