BoredChurches are known for their involvement in the next “latest/greatest program.” Programs are gobbled up by congregations because many form a sense of desperation. Yet, churches continue to dwindle – or “hold their own” – and most feel that nothing substantive has changed.

Those resistant to programs have learned to wait passively, thinking “this, too, shall pass.” And, for the most part, they’re right!

Focus on these issues:

  • Most programs target symptoms, surface issues to the real challenges. They don’t get to the causative issues at the heart of transformational change.

  • We humans tend to be task-oriented over-achievers. We love to “do things.”

  • The centerpiece of faith is not what you do, but who you are and become – through God’s power and grace. This seems counter-intuitive, but the more church leaders grasp this, the better they will be at discerning how they can help their churches.

  • Spiritual renewal is the key for Christians who want to make a lasting impact. The Bible says that God-followers are not to be “…conformed to this world, but transformed, by a renewal of their minds.”

  • Over time, churches tend to naturally drift away from the spiritual culture God uses to make them effective. This biblical culture is not about doing, but being. We are not “human doings,” but “human beings.”

  • This natural drift is a repeated scenario throughout Scripture and the history of the church.

  • Today, particularly in North America, that “drift” from biblical culture is significant. This is why so many Christians sense their churches are anemic and lack impact.

  • Most programs are not geared to change the spiritual culture of churches. Spiritual culture consists of five areas: (1) values – what you consider important; (2) beliefs – what you believe is truth; (3) priorities – what you would most always do first (“seek first the Kingdom of God” – Jesus); (4) attitudes – your posture before God and the world (Philippians 2); and (5) worldviews – how you understand the world and the way the world works. All of these are inter-related, and, together, form the complexity we call “spiritual culture.”

  • Real change is an “inside job.” It works best as a movement inside your church. Christianity is a movement, not a program. As un-natural as it sounds, it’s not about what you do – not first and foremost. It’s about who you are.

  • What your church needs is not a five-step program that comes in a box. Lasting change will come from a guided spiritual pilgrimage in which God renews the spiritual culture, one person at a time.

  • This change will occur best when it is not forced, but encouraged, as each person chooses to participate. Consequently, it will occur in a “bottom-up” movement, not a “top-down” program.

The Kingdom of God – even the renewal of your church – occurs like yeast in a loaf of bread. It’s quiet, but radical; slow, yet transforming. It’s not dramatic, but dynamic. It is not programmatic, but organic.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit

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