Obstacles to Church Growth
There are many great resources available on the web for those of us who desire to evangelize the world in our generation. A great list of obstacles to church growth can be found at this link.
The ones I would most like to emphasize for your personal growth are:
The inward focus is mentioned in this post. A friend once challenged all of us in attendance to be careful of navel-gazing. He said many churches and pastors spend way too much time looking down at themselves instead of out over fields white to harvest. We should be looking up and out. We should be focused on reaching out into the world.
I once heard a church leader say that all were welcome. The person mentioned that the sign had been up for years. This person seemed to have forgotten that the Scriptures teach "go ye!" not "y'all come!" All the community knew where the church was located and would be welcomed if they would come.
The author lists another excellent point, Evangelistic apathy. We have lost our desire to get the gospel to the world. We seldom think of our responsibility to tell, and even less of the consequences of the lost of not hearing and believing.
The author further mentions, Retreat mentality. We are tired and want a place to hide from the wicked world. We retreat instead of advance. Years ago, a pastor I first worked for told me to do the ministry God had called me to do. I later mentioned that I wanted to have a "youth retreat!" He was a country preacher with a heart for God and souls as big as the ocean. He immediately responded. We will not retreat. I explained what it was, and he confirmed. I could have a youth advance, but he hated the word retreat.
Austin Gardner's web gleanings