The State of the Church in America
The Christian churches in America reflect the culture, rather than exist as a counter culture. As a whole, the statistics are alarming. Maranatha Ministries report that on average 1500 pastors resign their church every month. Of those who stay on the job, 50% are very discouraged and would leave if they could afford to do so. Seventy percent of pastors fight depression and the divorce rate for pastors is now over 50%.
The Gallop Poll reported that 40% of Americans claim to attend church weekly, but the actual numbers have declined to less than 28%. Another irony is that 17% of Americans claim to give 10% or more, but only 3% actually do. Most churches in America have declined in both attendance and giving. Research from Empty Tomb, Inc. reports that benevolence to charities had its lowest percentage since 1968. Giving by parishioners was 2.38 percent of their income.
Ninety percent of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be before they entered the ministry. Eighty percent of pastor’s spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession. Almost forty percent of pastors polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry. Conflicts are at all-time highs, and the issues are too numerous to list.
Denominations and their judicatories have demonstrated their inability to solve problems in churches, and offer little to no re-training to adapt churches to modern cultures while maintaining the purity of the gospel message and its emphasis on multiplication. So what should a pastor or church do?
Consultants in Renewal
Churches in the past used various means to revitalize congregations. Growth or evangelism has evolved through many methodologies. Over time most of these methods have proven to be ineffective. Churches have long used persons outside the local congregation whether a supervisor of an association or denomination, an evangelist or revivalist, professional seminars, higher education, camp and conference speakers, and missionaries.
Consultants can fill all of those roles and more. Rather than be cast into a historical role, a consultant can assess and adapt methodologies to effectively address whatever issue is hindering the church. An experienced godly consultant can offer many advantages and will do so more cost effectively than most of the other professional listed.