Is Your Church Thriving or Dying? Mentality is Everything.

March 11, 2014 — 2 Comments

The mission of the church is simple–Make disciples who make more disciples.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20).”


Unfortunately, the mission of the church sometimes becomes clouded.  And it’s usually a mentality problem.

The way I see it, churches typically have one of two types of mindsets:

  1. Those with an abundance mentality.

  2. Those with a scarcity mentality.

What type of church is yours?

As I was drinking a cup of coffee this morning, I jotted down some church characteristics to help you answer that question.

8 Characteristics of Churches with an Abundance Mentality:

  1. They champion the success of other churches in their area.

    They realize that a single church can’t pastor an entire city. They believe in the power of partnership. They understand that we are all on the same team.

  2. They readily share their knowledge, contacts, resources, and “secrets” with other churches.

    I once saw my pastor give away 5 years worth of sermon resources (messages, notes, graphics, and video bumpers) to 14 church planters in our area.

    I was blown away.

    It challenged me to be more generous.

    By the way, you can get some of those FREE sermon resources by CLICKING HERE.

  3. They are humble, yet HUNGRY.

    Abundance mentality churches are thankful for the harvest they’re already reaping, but passionate about seeing a greater number of people come to know Christ.

    Their heart aches of those that don’t yet know Christ.

  4. They embrace change.

    My pastor often says, “The Bible will never change, but the methods we use to reach the lost is always negotiable.

  5. They are optimistic about their future.

    Not a single leadership meeting happens at Northpark Church without one of our key leaders uttering this phrase:

    God didn’t bring us this far to fail.

  6. They are actively engaged in missions outside of their church walls.

    Abundance mentality churches not only preach generosity, they practice it.

    They have a “there’s more where that came from” mentality, and their generosity towards other ministries (out of the church walls) reflect it.

  7. They are obedient, even when its hard or inconvenient.

    They aren’t afraid to take big (and even scary) faith steps. They know that God is bigger than any circumstance or problem they may face.

  8. Abundance mentality churches are committed to prayer and fasting.

    They seek the power of the Holy Spirit in all major decisions. God is at the center of everything they do.

I also jotted down a couple of characteristics of church with a scarcity mentality.

8 Characteristics of Churches with a Scarcity Mentality:

  1. They have denominational blindness.

    Too much focus is placed on doctrine and decor, and not enough on sound Biblical teaching.

  2. They believe the “glory days” are behind them.

    They’re always trying to get back to a past move of the Holy Spirit rather than focusing on the power of the spirit that’s available in the present.

  3. They compare themselves to other churches.

    They make statements like, “We’ll we could do that too if we had 1,000 people at our church.

  4. They make excuses.

    If you are looking for a reason “not” to be successful in ministry, you can always find it.

    Churches with a scarcity mentality seek excuses instead of solutions.

  5. They are made up of people who feel entitled.

    Being a church member doesn’t mean you have rights, it means you are willing to give up rights to serve others.

  6. They care only about attendance…it’s the only number that matters.

    What’s better? A Sunday with 500 people in attendance where no one is saved, or a Sunday with 40 people in attendance where one person receives salvation?

  7. The believe “the church” is a building.

    And everything they hold dear is centered around that building.

  8. They are short-sighted with outreach.

    Scarcity mentality churches are less concerned with reaching the people outside of their walls, and more concerned with keeping the people they already have.

It’s easy to forget our true calling at times. But to be a church that reaches the nations, we must encourage and partner with each other.

After all, the goal isn’t to grow your church, it’s to grow His church?

QUESTIONS: What would you add to the list? Pastor/church leader, what’s one thing you could change to help you be more effective in reaching the lost?

  • Sierra Smith

    Thank you so much for this Larry! I know that my church has an abundance mentality, but that does not mean that i always do. i know i can work on number 7. Lately it has been something i have struggled with, not knowing the end means not having control and having to have complete faith in Him. such a hard thing to do sometimes. but you are so right. My God is so much bigger than any circumstance! and it is that faith that i have to have if i am to speak life and truth into the lives of our students here!

  • TCAvey

    Great lists! Reading through these makes it easy to see which type of church I want to belong to! Why would anyone want to be anywhere else?