This past Sunday, Patrick Nachtigall (, led a Three World’s Seminar for the Bulgarian Church of God entitled, “Five Reasons the Church is Not Growing.” Patrick identified these after traveling across six continents in which he interviewed leaders and members of congregations and ministries within the Church of God, Anderson, IN.

One of the key responsibilities for anyone in a leadership position is to identify any potential problems that threaten the environment, culture, and overall health. An effective leader does not bury their head in the sand and assume all is well. A good leader will identify and assess any current threats and deal with them head on. Better yet, a great leader will anticipate potential threats before they materialize.

Here is a simple exercise that you can perform based on your current leadership context (work, home, or other):

  • Make a list of what is currently threatening to destroy or cause injury to your environment.
  • Create a second list of anticipated threats.
  • Identify solutions, safeguards, and accountability measures to implement.

If interested, here are the “Five Reasons the Church is Not Growing” as identified by Patrick.

  1. The lack of understanding the historical and cultural factors of the home country.
  2. The fear of change and risk.
  3. Churches don’t understand that all Christians are missionaries to their own communities.
  4. Churches do not invest in young people.
  5. Churches tend to treat the symptoms and not the disease.

(Patrick, along with his wife Jamie, are the Regional Coordinators for the Europe/Middle East Region for Global Missions. Global Missions is the mission arm of the Church of God, Anderson, IN. You can read more on this topic in Patrick’s most recent book, “Mosaic.” This book is highly recommended for all church leaders!)

Nathan Tatman

Mission Advancement Pastor

© County Line Church of God

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