A church in crisis pathways forward

A church in crisis pathways forward: In the spring of 2013, a church in crisis realized that it needed to make significant changes to survive. But it didn’t happen overnight. Here are the steps they took. These may be helpful for churches facing similar issues.

A church in crisis. What does God have to say to this church in crisis? There is hope for your future – you can begin to live fully again. It’s not easy though, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some pointers that will help you make the most of your future, both as an individual, and as a community of believers.

A few years ago, the church was rocked by a flurry of expensive lawsuits and negative media coverage. It seemed like the church would perish in no time, or at least go broke trying to defend itself. But it was not an easy time for everyone involved. The pastors wanted to make sure that the church would survive and thrive, but they knew change was needed; it just wasn’t clear what that change should be. Is it ok for churches to be public about their financial records? How should a church react when its leaders are being sued? How can a congregation be helped back on its feet after years of financial failure? This book is not only about the crisis facing one particular church, but also offers insights into how businesses in general can respond to a sudden crisis such as bankruptcy or litigation against leadership and staff.

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A church in crisis pathways forward

A church in crisis is a difficult situation to navigate. The stakes are high, and the emotions run deep. When a church is at risk of closing its doors, it’s important to remember that every step of the way, God is present with you and working through you.

Here are some steps you can take to help your church move forward:

  1. Pray for peace and unity: Pray for peace in your community and for unity among your congregation members. As you pray, ask God to give you wisdom about how best to move forward with this difficult decision.
  2. Gather information: Identify what has gone wrong in order to determine how best to fix it. This could be as simple as a review of past financial records or as complex as polling members on their feelings about the future of the church.
  3. Consider alternatives: Think about what would happen if the church closed its doors permanently or temporarily rebranded itself as an outreach center or mission center focused on helping those who need it most in your community.

When a church is in crisis, it can be hard to know how to proceed. Here are some steps you can take to get your church back on track:

  1. Make sure all staff members are aware of the situation and understand what their roles are during this time.
  2. Have a meeting with your staff members to discuss next steps and how everyone can work together during this difficult time.
  3. If you have a congregation or community group that has been affected by the crisis, reach out to them directly and ask if they need assistance with anything—from emotional support to practical help like fundraising events or food drives.
  4. If there are any legal issues involved, contact an attorney immediately so they can advise you on the best way forward for your situation (and so they can protect your interests).

A church in crisis pathways forward


Greetings, my friends. As we meet here in the shadow of the cross and Easter season, we acknowledge what has been a difficult last year and a half for us as a church. We meet here knowing that the church you love and I love is in crisis. This crisis is not new; it is rooted in long-standing patterns of denial that have shaped our history. The way forward will require all of us to seek God’s wisdom, discern his timing and trust his power to move us into a future where our children can thrive as followers of Jesus in this time and place. Below are some reflections and next steps for how we might begin to build that future together—a future where hope prevails over fear, where reconciliation opens doors to racial justice and where respect for every person means none are left behind or forgotten.

Let us grow in our understanding of what this moment is.

Let’s begin by listening to one another.

We cannot do this alone. Our best efforts at understanding and empathy will be limited without the input of people who have been close to the situation, as well as those who are still in it. That said, we must also trust that God is in control—even when we don’t understand why things happen and when they do happen. And while it is important for us to believe that God has a plan even in times like these, this does not mean it is helpful or appropriate to try and predict what that plan looks like or how long it will take for him to unfold it (if indeed he will). Rather than try and plot out God’s plans before us, let us seek instead just to trust him with our lives and our futures, letting go of any futile attempts at predicting what may happen next today or next year; rather than trying so hard not just with our heads but also with our hearts since both are involved here too (as evidenced by all four gospels being written after Jesus’ death).

Finally: remember how much God loves each one of us individually according  and how much he loves each one of these congregations collectively together; remember always why we came together here tonight: because Christ died for all humanity so that none would perish but all would come into eternal life through him alone; remember always that no matter where we find ourselves within life’s journey right now whether at home or abroad whether young or old whether single or married whether healthy or sickly whether rich/poor/middle class etcetera etcetera etcetera there’s only one thing worth remembering above all else tonight: Nothing matters more than love!

Let us listen to one another in new ways.

Listening is a skill, and we can learn it.

Listening is also a way to learn more about others.

Listening is also a way to learn more about ourselves.

Listening is also a way to learn more about God, the world and the church.

Let us trust that the Spirit’s timing is perfect, even when we cannot see it clearly.

  • God’s timing is not always ours.
  • God’s timing is not always our friends’ timing.
  • God’s timing is not always our family’s timing.
  • God’s timing is not always our church’s timing.
  • God’s timing is not always our community’s timing.

Let us keep the main thing the main thing.

There are many things on which to focus, but the main thing that we should be focusing on is the mission of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is at the center of our faith and our hope in him. When we keep this in mind, everything else falls into place because it all points to him. We need to maintain a constant focus on what God has done for us through his Son Jesus Christ and how he wants to work with us today and in the future.

The Church is also central to our ministry as Christians because it is where God’s people are gathered together under one roof (Eph 2:21). This means that we must love each other as brothers or sisters (1 John 3). It also means that we must serve one another (Gal 5:13) if we are going to fulfill our purpose as part of the body of Christ!

We can live into the future God has for us.

Sometimes, we may have to walk away from the future God has for us. Sometimes, we must let go of a dream and perhaps even our physical presence in one place or another. But there is no need to worry about that now. We can live into the future God has for us, even if we don’t know what it is yet. We can live into the future God has for us, even if it is hard or scary or uncertain or painful at times—for in His love and grace He will carry us through whatever comes our way!


Our hope is that we can keep the main thing the main thing, which is to be a church in step with God’s Spirit, in tune to the needs of our world and faithful to God’s call. We are living on unfamiliar soil right now and it feels like we’re walking through fog. But I think if we do what Jesus did—listen, watch and pray—we are going to grow into ourselves as a church like never before.

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