I do not believe people come to church to ruin the church intentionally. From what I have observed in churches though, many can ruin a church or a ministry unintentionally. It might not be something that they set out to do, but it is something that they unintentionally may fall into.
Here is a short post on things that can ruin a church.
- Division among Members – This is an obvious one. Division can ruin any business or any church. People tend to believe 100% that they are right when they may be looking at their preference from a biased point of view. In order to offset division, members must be committed to putting other people ahead of themselves. When church is about an individual and what they want, division will occur and it can ruin a church.
- Lack of Support for the Senior Pastor – This is arguably the one that can ruin a church as much as anything else on this list. Pastors must do well to receive the people’s trust. It takes time. I get that, but people must be responsible as well for their Biblical mandate to support their pastor. Many times when people do not support their pastor, it is for preferential or traditional reasons.
- Tradition – Pastors hear the phrase “that’s the way we have always done it” all of the time. This is a phrase that can destroy the church from being what God intends for it to be. Tradition can destroy the church. Your message never changes, but your methods can and should. In my experience, people not wanting methods to change is more common than people getting upset over message changes. If your message begins to change, get out and find a new Gospel centered church, but embrace changing some of your methods to reach people in today’s culture.
- Lack of Engaging the Youth – If you want your church to die an early death, do not engage youth. If you only cater to the older members, your church is headed for an early death. You must engage your teens and college students. Challenge them, train them, and allow them to lead and volunteer. If you do not allow the younger generation to be engaged in the church, they will leave and find a church that does allow them to engage, or they will leave the church completely!
- Dictatorial Pastoral Leadership – We have talked much about how members can ruin a church, but pastors can ruin churches as well. Many times, the pride of pastors can enter the church and destroy it. Pastors, never forget who voted you into the position, and remember they can also vote you out. Do not be a dictator. Sometimes you have to put what you want to the side, and allow the members preference and desire to prevail. Do not come to a church to try to completely change the church. This is how pastors can destroy the churches.
Bottom line, to avoid any of these items, put other people before yourself.