Close Your Church for Good. Introduction. Now that I’ve finished chapter 1, I felt like I needed to go back and write an Introduction for the book. So here it is. After this, we will get on with chapter 2.
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It is not my desire for any church to close. I grieve whenever I hear of another church having to disband, sell its building, and the pastor has to find a new job, and the members must (hopefully) find new churches. In fact, on the day I began writing this book, I learned that a church I used to pastor had just closed its doors. I knew and loved the people who went there, who poured hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into the church. With many tears and prayers, they had tried to make that church a vibrant source of light in their community. But they closed. And when I heard, I grieved.
So do not misunderstand. I love your church. I love your pastor and the people who attend there. I love the programs you run, and how you have labored for Christ so faithfully over the years. I know there have been great sacrifices, and many people have been helped as a result of your church. That last thing I want is for your church to disband, for the pastor to lose his job, and the people who attend there to no longer have a place to worship, learn, and be encouraged.
To the contrary, I desire that such things only increase in frequency and effectiveness. I want to see more people in church as greater numbers of people are reached with the gospel. I hope that your church becomes widely known for its love, grace, mercy, and generosity. My wish is that the influence of the church only increases. That is why I wrote this book.
If you’ve scanned the book, or read the chapter titles, you may be under the impression that I want churches to sell their buildings and shut down permanently. Let me emphatically say that this is not the message I intend to give. Rather, my hope is that churches rethink what they do, and more importantly, why they do it. Certainly, some churches may close down if some of the suggestions in this book are followed, but if so, they will close for good reasons. They will close to expand their effectiveness and ministry options, not because they can no longer survive. That is how you should understand the title of this book. If you are going to close your church, close it to accomplish something good. This book is about closing your church with purpose, rather than just fading away for lack of funds and people.
So it’s not just a book for struggling or dying churches. It’s a book for thriving churches who sense they’ve lost their direction, or need to revitalize their vision and mission. This book points out several areas and functions of the church that can be closed or modified, and in so doing, better accomplish the mission of Jesus Christ, thereby revealing the Kingdom principles of God. You might be surprised at some of the suggestions that are proposed. But you may also find that in following these suggestions (which initially seem “anti-church”), you and your church is liberated to function as the body of Christ is truly supposed to function. You may find that closing your doors is the best thing your church ever did.