The Church Abandoned

In small town America, it’s not hard to find an old and abandoned building.

It’s not hard to find a building standing on the side of the road that was once a home to a local business that just couldn’t cut it once the competition opened up down the street.

The abandoned building stands and represents an establishment that couldn’t keep up… Couldn’t change enough to stay open and do what the owner once dreamed it would.

Whether it was because it refused to change or just didn’t have the know how to change, the building is left abandoned and desolate.

So many churches in our world today stand the same fate those buildings are currently realizing.

Without making a few changes and reaching out to the surrounding culture,
thousands of churches are just months from closing the doors.

The sad part about it is that they could flourish.

They could turn what they do into something that keeps people coming AND accomplishes the purpose they were founded for. It just requires willingness, determination, and a knowledge of how to do it.

No matter what you do, don’t lead it toward abandonment!

Don’t allow the bold vision you once had to become a dead dream.

Don’t refuse to change because you’re ignorant of the consequences of staying the same.
Don’t refuse to change because you’re too comfortable staying the same.
Be willing to change.
Be willing to count the cost and hold on to the purpose.

It’s a careful balance, but the rewards are great!

What things do you think contributes to churches having to close their doors?
What keeps churches, businesses, and people from wanting to change? 


  1. Our former church is getting close to closing its doors because the Holy Spirit has left the building due to the Gospel not being preached any longer. It’s so busy teaching social justice that it’s failed to preach the Word of God any longer. They are more worried about ordaining openly-practicing homosexuals and finding many ways to get to Heaven. It’s so sad. Instead of “Elvis has left the building”, it’s “God’s blessing has left the building”.

  2. I think People is the main issue for Churches.

    Churches worry too much about personal issues and offending folks due to them supporting the Church financially.

    They use people for all the skill and time they have and don’t repay them in any way. Burn out is inevitable.

    Church’s need to focus on the Lord and leave the rest to Him.

  3. This is what I preached on last week and am continuing on it this week. I think the biggest reason is that we think the church is for us…

    But to be honest, the church is for the world. We are to reach them, rather than sit inside and be comfy.

    end mini rant now..

  4. Change is definitely a big thing. Churches think that just because something was good in the past, that it should be continued. I’ve been a part of a great church that has launched and moved out of some things that we just plain outgrew. We hold to those things that help us with our core mission – preaching the gospel and equipping the saints.

  5. I think one of the biggest contributors is that 95% of Christians view church as a building. Of course, that statistic was just made up. It may actually be 99.2%. Or less.

    As much as we try to say church is really the people, in many of our minds, it is the building. Or the service. I think we would see a lot less churches disbanding if we changed our focus from the service to actually being the church. We’d realize we don’t need buildings to be a church, that church is just as holy and powerful in homes and we wouldn’t be as willing to disband when the focus is mostly doing life with people, not doing service or small group with them.

    1. Yeah. I think you’re really onto something. If we realize WE are the church. Our love will display Jesus and that will allow us to bring people into the kingdom and into our churches. It starts with us. Thanks, Jason.

  6. The church I currently serve at, located in my home town, resurrected a church building that had been disbanded for a newer and bigger building about 60 years ago.

    (Side note – the church my father grew up in is that church.)

    Currently our church is the most attended church in town using one of the smallest buildings in town. We have no intention of building any time soon – we’ll just resurrect another abandoned church building and offer another style of service where people can be the church.

    I think that’s one of the most amazing things a church planter can do – take an old church building, making it new again and invite people to use it as a place to be the church again.

    Keep the good thoughts coming!

  7. What a great post…and a great reminder to keep plugging along! Our church is in an urban community, surrounded by many abandoned buildings…even churches. And yet long before I came to the congregation they made the conscious decision to remain in the neighborhood and keep ministering no matter what happened around the church. That continues as we are involved in a group which is dealing with the foreclosure crisis in our community, reaching out through food pantry, home repair, and a new service targeted to our local constituency, and surveying the community to see what the needs are so that we can meet those needs.

    I needed your post today. I am on vacation and trying to gear up for another “round” of ministry to our church and our community. Thanks!

  8. Great post. I was working with the methodist church for a while doing modern worship in a contemporary service and there was so much push against this step because this was not the way things were done. Few would help except those that attended and little money was filtered to for support. It was definitely frustrating. I don’t believe that the old ways have to go, sometimes it is so beautiful to see a mixing of the old and the new, guitars and liturgy, but with out at least accepting that the world and needs of the up and coming generation is changing there won’t be a generation to preach to. To be sure, we don’t worship like our parents, and they not like theirs and theirs not like the church that was established in the first and second century. God may be unchanging, but we are and have been, and I think it’s okay that we change as long as our thoughts about the nature of God stays the same. Again, awesome post.


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