Sometimes when churches see decline they double down on more of the same. They look at programs, they look at their pastor, they look at the budget, but very rarely will they look in the mirror.
Ray Ortlund shared the money quote for today by Iain H. Murray in his book Evangelicalism Divided:
When churches lose their influence, when the Christian message ceases to arrest the indifferent and the unbelieving, when moral decline is obvious in places which once owned biblical standards – when such symptoms as these are evident, then the first need is not to regroup such professing Christianity as remains. It is rather to ask whether the spiritual decline is not due to a fundamental failure to understand and practise what Christianity really is, (pg. 151).
When the Gospel is not front and center in our churches it should be no surprise when their influence wanes.