Saturday, March 01, 2008

7 Characteristics of an Ingrown Church

Joe Thorn at provides a helpful summary of C. John Miller’s Outgrowing the Ingrown Church

1. Tunnel Vision.

  • potential ministry to those things that can be seen. It is faith/trust in the visible, human resources a church has on hand rather than in the promises of God.
  • the sin of unbelief in Christ’s presence with and the Spirit’s power in us as the church.

2. Group Superiority.

  • Many ingrown churches become egocentric out of fear of extinction, and wind up focusing on one aspect of their church culture that makes them unique.
  • This allows them to feel good about themselves while finding fault with other churches in the area who do not measure up.
  • ecclesiastic introversion allows us to feel good about where we are (stagnant, atrophying).

3. Extreme Sensitivity to Criticism.

  • encourages a church to avoid issues it needs to address.

4. Niceness in Tone.

  • Safe and comfortable, as opposed to walking in lock-step with Jesus as he leads his people into the world.

5. Christian Soap Opera.

  • gossip

6. Confused Leadership Roles.

  • church leaders do not function as “pace-setting” examples, but as “sweet, but saltless” friends.
  • The pastor is expected to do all the work in the church without challenging or equipping members to participate in the mission of God themselves.

7. Misdirected Purpose.

  • “survival - not with growth through the conversion of the lost.”
  • The survival mentality robs the church of optimism (hope), and consumes her time with inward activity.

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