Ed Stetzer writes about Influencing Churches on his blog. In this, is lists different problems that surface in churches. Here is his abbreviated list; the full list is in his book Comeback Churches.
- Institutionalized church–this is the church that has lost its way within the forms and programs of ministry. This church is just going through the motions and has forgotten the real purpose for which it exists.
- Voluntary association church–this church functions more like a democracy rather than based on New Testament principles. Competing factions help maintain the “status quo” because of a desire to keep everyone happy.
- Unintentional church–this is the church that often has good intentions but have difficulty acting on those intentions. This church has a hard time embracing an intentional process for making disciples.
- “Us four and nor more” church–this is the church that practically believes that growth will destroy their “sweet fellowship.” The desire is to maintain a “family feel” which can make it hard for new people to break into the group.
- “We can’t compete” church–this is most often the smaller church that has concluded that there is no way they can compete with the program-rich larger churches, and so, they stop trying to be the church.