One of the greatest challenges facing those who try to bring revival to churches is overcoming people who are opposed to change. In their book, Comeback churches: How 300 churches turned around and yours can too, by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson, the authors state that comeback churches often had to overcome attitude obstacles. I found one section to be particularly insightful, thought-provoking, and convicting.
Being unwilling to change, when change is necessary in order to grow, is the wrong attitude. Traditions are a necessary part of church life and ministry; every church has them. However, when people choose to hold on to traditions at the expense of being effective in reaching the lost, that is the wrong attitude. If a church wants to hold on to the warm, fuzzy feelings of small church intimacy instead of “making room” for new people who need Christ, then that church has adopted the wrong attitude. Churches that make the decision not to develop new ministries, and do them well, may have accepted an attitude of defeat.
The essence of this book is that churches can change. Churches can overcome their attitude challenges and start growing again. Things don’t have to be small, ineffective, inadequate, downward, and ingrown. Attitudes can be renewed.