CBF Missouri / General CBF

How Churches Can Survive and Thrive

I recently read a book called “The Survivors Club.” Author Ben Sherwood contends that your chances of surviving a potentially life-threatening situation can improve by paying attention to just a few key factors. As I work with Fellowship churches in Missouri, I think some of these ideas could help congregations facing difficult challenges:

  1. Churches should be honest when there is a problem. Just like people in real-life disasters, many churches have a “normalcy bias.” They keep following established routines even in the face of drastic change or threat. Avoidance is not a smart strategy.
  2. Churches should realize they are stronger than they imagine. In most cases, churches have the skills, abilities and know-how they need to survive and thrive. In stressful times, these gifts are often hard to see and even harder to put to the best use.
  3. Churches need to think rationally but move quickly. Church leaders need to control their anxiety in times of crisis, and the church as a whole will need to make good decisions. But it cannot afford to waste time and energy arguing or over-analyzing. Doing the right thing in the right time is critical.
  4. Churches should strive to have a positive frame of mind. Believe that something good can come from even the most difficult times. Some studies indicate that “being lucky” often boils down to being open to new possibilities and new ways of doing things.
  5. Most importantly, churches need a deep faith in God. In Sherwood’s book — despite his skepticism — many survivors credit God for rescuing them from life-threatening disasters. To make it through tough times, a church must trust in that same God.

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