8 Things to Do When Your Church Seems Stuck

Close-up of vintage blue enamel house number eight on wall

I have been there. I was sitting behind my desk, wondering how I could move the church out of the lethargy of the moment. Have you ever felt this way? A feeling that things are not moving forward as they should. My nephew, Ethan, is a college baseball pitcher. He calls it a “slump.” Whatever you call it, we have observed eight things that might help you get the ball rolling again in the church you are serving.

1. Seek God’s wisdom.

Prayer must be first. Before we run to someone else, run to the One who promises to grant wisdom to anyone who asks (James 1:5).

2. Seek outside help.

It is good to have outside eyes to examine your situation. It might be another pastor. Or we, as your state missionaries, would be thrilled to come alongside you. It is our calling.

3. Read. 

Many Christian leaders have been in a similar position. I read books that pertained to my situation. I took some online leadership development classes. Again, your State Board of Missions provides various ways for you to grow throughout the year. For example, our Intentional Leader Series (Pastor, Preacher, Pathfinder, and Person) is offered at various times, and past sessions are recorded for you to view or review.

4. Get away. 

When I felt stuck, I would get away with my Bible and a notebook (computer) for a day or two. I read, prayed, and wrote down what I learned.

5. Evaluate. 

Refocus on the vision of the church. Sometimes, we are stuck because we have drifted from what God has called us to do. When I felt “stuck,” I often evaluated and discovered we were too inwardly focused. Moving beyond the four walls of the church brought renewed excitement to our church.

6. Do something. 

Don’t just evaluate, do something! Focus on one thing to build momentum in the church. Often, I received this brainstorm through my time of getting away. We can also come alongside you to help you identify one thing to move your church forward.

7. Build relationships. 

It is easy to get into a rut by taking relationships for granted. Be there for the people. Stop in the halls and talk to them. Write them notes of encouragement. Never let people say of you and me, “I don’t feel like my pastor knows who I am.”

8. Rest. 

One of the reasons our churches are stuck is because we are stuck. We are overwhelmed, tired, and sometimes frustrated. Take time daily to “be there” for your family. Take time off from the church to refresh, recharge and renew.

These are eight simple things to do when you feel the church you serve is stuck. We would love to come alongside you and help you. Please give us a call!

This article was written by state missionary Rob Jackson.