5 Sneaky Signs Your Church Might Be Losing Momentum

by | Feb 26, 2024 | Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership

Ever feel like something’s a bit off at church, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? Could it be a sign that your church’s momentum is slowing down? The reality is – it may not be super obvious at first glance. Let’s dive into five sneaky signs that your church might be losing its momentum, plus some ideas on how to turn things around and keep your church family thriving.


1. Midweek Ghost Town


What’s going on? You know how Sunday services are still popping, but come midweek, and it’s like everyone’s vanished? When folks start skipping out on those Wednesday night gatherings, small groups, or youth shindigs, it’s a heads-up that the engagement levels are dipping. These are the times when your church family really bonds and grows together spiritually.

What to do: Spice up those midweek meet-ups! Try mixing in different activities that will break up the normal. If you’re doing the same thing over and over each week, people can get into a zone where everything is predictable. Think about adding in some cool topical studies, workshops on practical life stuff, or events that the whole family can get into. If your midweek gathering is within a small group context, have an international-themed night, where you prepare the dishes of a certain country and then pray for the country as a whole.


2. Where’d the Outreach Fire Go?


What’s going on? Notice a bit less buzz about helping out locally or getting involved in missions? When the passion for reaching out starts to cool off, it means the focus is turning too inward, and that’s not the best recipe for growth or keeping things healthy.

What to do: Light that outreach fire again! Share the amazing stories from your mission trips or local outreaches, highlighting the real difference the church is making. Get folks excited about joining in, whether it’s through local projects or jetting off on a short-term mission. Teaming up with organizations that bring new energy and ideas can also amp up the excitement.


3. Everybody Looks the Same Here


What’s going on? If it becomes apparent that the congregation at your church is becoming increasingly homogeneous, sharing similar life stages, backgrounds, or age groups, this could indicate that your church is not effectively engaging with a broad spectrum of people. A vibrant church usually mirrors the diversity of its community.

What to do: Get curious about what might be keeping a more diverse group from feeling at home in your church. This could mean shaking things up by offering services or small groups for different folks or having open chats about making everyone feel welcome. At our local church, we had to remind the tech team that volume matters. The team is young, and they love it loud. This, however, doesn’t resonate with people with young families as well as older generations.


4. Leaders on the Edge


What’s going on? If your church’s leaders—think pastors, elders, ministry heads—are showing signs of hitting the wall, it’s a big red flag. Burnout in leadership can zap the vision and innovation right out of your church’s sails and cause momentum to slow or even stop.

What to do: Promote a team approach in leadership to spread the load. Encourage leaders to take regular breaks, dive into new learning opportunities, and come back refreshed with new perspectives. Also – If some leaders are not pulling their weight, then maybe it’s time to have a tough conversation.


5. Where Are the Stories?


What’s going on? When personal stories and testimonies start to dry up, it’s a sign that the spiritual temperature might be cooling off in your congregation.

What to do: Make sharing personal faith stories a big deal. Create spaces in your services, in small groups, or online where folks can open up about their spiritual journeys. There’s nothing like real-life stories to fan the flames of faith and bring your church closer.

Catching these sneaky signs early and getting proactive can make all the difference. Keep an eye out, mix in some strategic moves, and remember, with prayer and action, you can always get that momentum rolling again. Let’s keep pushing forward, aligned with the big vision God’s got for our church!


Read more blog posts by Jeff Hoglen, D.Min.


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