- Talk Up Big Plans And Follow Through With Inactivity. This will build frustration and discouragement. Satanfears not the plan, but rather the working of it.
- Make No Plans For The Future: Just Accept The Status Quo. Just hope that the future will take care of itself. Buy into the “is/ought” fallacy: “The way it is is the way it ought to be.”
- Do Not Practice Church Discipline. Let the disorderly walk unchecked in ungodliness. Let all members see how nonchalantly bad or grossly negligent behavior is treated.
- Under-appreciate The Leadership. Do not pray for the elders, actively seek to help them, encourage them, express appreciation for them, submit to their authority (Heb. 13:7,17), or respect them. Just expect them to be without flaw or feelings.
- Do Not Actively Enlist. Allow a small nucleus of folks to do the brunt of the work. Leave the majority of the members in the dark as to how and where to be involved. Ignore the fact that people must be personally invested to be faithful.
- Pressure Or Allow The Pulpit To Be Form Over Substance. Make sure the preached message is soothing and non-offensive, fostering comfort and expecting little to nothing. Have the pulpit heavy on the social and light on Scripture.
- Get Into The “Change Extremes”: “Nothing Is Sacred” Or “Nothing Is Changeable.” Departing from the left or right will kill the church, whether its identity or effectiveness. Buy into every new fad that comes along or suspect and oppose any change which may scripturally improve the life and work of the church.
- Make Personal Preferences And Opinions Binding. Equate personal discomfort with doctrinal sin. Take presumptuous positions, supposing there is biblical foundation without finding such. Allow the nay-saying of one or two thwart effective, soul-winning, and needed programs.
- Have No Follow-up Program For New Christians. Let them make their own way to heaven after the water of baptism dries. Have no Bible study follow-up, fellowship mechanism, or other effort to integrate and educate these spiritual babes.
- Maintain An Unchallenging Budget. Do not risk offending non-sacrificial members. Make plans by sight, not by faith. Do not make ambitious financial goals as a congregation.
- Be Distant And Unloving With One Another. Confine association and fellowship to the building, and that in passing. Stay out of each others’ homes. Do not visit. Do not build friendships with those of like faith. Do not be involved in one another’s lives.
- Take “Christ” Out Of Christianity. Be secular and worldly. Fail to be distinctive to a world desperately seeking something different from itself.
- Ignore The Small And Voiceless. Be it children, elderly members, or the sick and shut-in, let them fall through the cracks of inattention. Treat singles, new Christians, and weak, struggling members as second-class citizens of the Kingdom.
It is easy to arrange things in the local congregation so that the church fails to grow. But, the Lord wants His body to grow. The early church grew (Acts 6:1,7; 9:31). A growing church reflects a church on fire for the Lord’s mission (Mat. 28:18ff) and in focus with the Lord’s desire (2 Pet. 3:9). May we overcome these church-shrinking tendencies and build a great church!