Close Your Church for Good, Chap. 2, Sec. 2. In the previous post, I asked you to imagine what would happen in your community if your chuch ceased to exist. We continue this line of inquiry in this post.
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How about the other people in town? Would the residents even know your church was gone? Again, it probably depends on the size and prominence, but in general, your church closing down would generate little more than gossip and speculation. Would the city council care? The Police Department? The Mayor? How about the gangs, prostitutes, and drug dealers? Would the media notice? Would the nightly news report it? Would the newspaper write an article? Even if they did, would it be a leading story? Would it make front page? They might do a report if your church was an historic landmark, but probably only if your town is small. Old churches close all the time, and the media rarely gives even a few lines of news. The only other time church closures get reported is when it is a mega-church, or when the pastor or staff are caught in some sort of sex scandal or financial crime.
So tragically, for far too many churches, the only people who would really notice that your church closed are the people who attend there and the pastors of the other churches that would receive them. The average person in your community and neighborhood would only know that your church shut down because the “For Sale” sign went up. The brutal truth is that, for most churches, if they were to close, the negative impact on the surrounding community would be next to nothing.
Why is this? You hear some people teach that the church is the hope of the world, but how can this be if the people in your neighborhood and town wouldn’t even know if you were gone? What has happened that the church, which seeks to be light and salt in the world, has become so insignificant and marginalized?