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Living in Dead Churches

Many churches are declining and dying in America.

Two weeks ago I checked out a church building in downtown San Jose. The church secretary, who is in her 40s, was born at the church. She told me nostalgic stories of how full of people and full of life the church used to be. In the good old days, the church building swelled with 600 people on a Sunday. Today, a good Sunday is about 60 people. They’ve removed many of the pews so that the sanctuary feels less empty. There is another “church” that also meets at this church facility. A few weeks ago a Transgender Mormon male gave the morning sermon. This is not good.

When a church loses the gospel, its people, its mission, and its money, if that church owned a building, they will sell that building. The picture above is of St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Brookline, Massachusetts. Decades ago, the church closed its doors and sold its doors. The building is now a condo complex. Go here to see more pictures. People did a nice job remodeling the place, but it’s a depressing site to see people living in a dead church.

What should we do about this? Let’s pray.

Pray for the continued health of your church. Pray for the planting of new churches in your city. Pray for church planting networks. Pray for the young, aspiring pastors you know who are being trained up to lead in the church. Pray for old, dying churches to experience renewal. And pray the prayer that every church planter prays: “Lord, that’s a great looking church building on the corner of 1st and Broadway. That church has died. The gospel isn’t preached there. Send me to preach your gospel there and let a new, healthy church once again fill that building with your praise.”

I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. -Jesus

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