A few years ago, in a town nearby, a church had a split amongst the congregation and the deacons; causing the angered deacons to form their own church just a few miles down the road. These deacons were the main money source of the church, thus it was assumed in the end the deacons’ new church would prevail.
However, after a years worth of time, the deacons’ new church was put up for sale while the congregation at the old church was stronger then ever. Addition by subtraction if you will.
This leaves me with a question; when does a church finally come to the conclusion that it is time to lock the doors, turn off the utilities, close out the bank accounts, and shut down the church? At what point does a pastor/ church/ congregation finally realize that the time has finally come to stop holding services?
I ask this because to some churches the decision comes easy while for others its a long drawn out process that can take upwards of years to complete. A process that is almost forced by denominational associations or conferences. If the Church or Pastor is accountable to no one other themselves the Church can sit stagnant for decades.
For the aforementioned church the decision to open and close was made within a year as attendance and donations were never enough to keep the church running. Yet, for some congregations the will to survive on the bare minimum keeps them going from week to week.
So, without posting a poll, what factors must present themselves for a church/ pastor to finally toss in the towel and shut down?
Just a side question; if these dying churches did shut their doors do you think we would be better off with fewer but healthier churches?