10. [ASSUME EVERYTHING] – First, assume that every job that needs to get done in ministry is being done by someone else. Second, assume that you don’t matter in the body of Christ – so if you are not there it is no big deal. Third, assume the worst about other people instead of the best – this is a sure way to keep your church from any spiritual growth.
9. [JUST ENOUGH] – Do just enough to be able to cross “did church” off your list of things to do in your week. Don’t volunteer for anything; don’t attend any prayer meetings, fellowships or activities; don’t get to know anyone; don’t introduce yourself to anyone you don’t know; and never smile – do just enough.
8. [COME LATE, LEAVE EARLY] – When you do decide to go to church always show up late – that way you don’t have to feel obligated to talk to anyone. Always stay up really late on Saturday night so you have a difficult time getting up in time for church. Once in the service prepare for departure as soon as possible by gathering up all your belongings a few minutes before the closing prayer that way when you hear the final “AMEN” you can bolt out the door avoiding any unwelcome good-bye hugs or handshakes. This is a surefire way of keeping your church from gaining any spiritual ground.
7. [GETTING, NOT GIVING] – Go to church with only yourself in mind every Sunday. Use the phrase “I didn’t get anything out of that!” as often as you can. Look as bored as possible when you don’t feel entertained or amused. Never go to church with a giving attitude. Never give warm welcomes, hugs, or handshakes. Never ask God where you can involve yourself in helping others. Constantly ask yourself the question, “Why am I here again?” These are proven ways of keeping your church from growing.
6. [I HATE KIDS] – Develop an anti-children attitude. If at all possible discourage young parents from feeling comfortable in your church by giving them dirty looks every time their child makes a sound that you deem inappropriate. If you do have kids in your church constantly tell them not to run, skip, jump, play, yell, play games or anything else that you can think of that a child might enjoy doing. Never foster the imagination of children – this will only encourage them to show up again. Never smile at a child. If you are forced to look at a child always look cantankerous and skeptical of their “real” motives. Children bring with them life and where there is life there is the possibility of growth so discourage the idea of a child-friendly church at any cost.
5. [NOT ME] – Never, and I mean never, commit to anything! Never sign up for anything that would require any kind of obligation. It is safer to have a foot-loose and fancy free attitude when it comes to service. Tell people that you are too busy to commit to anything. Use the phrase “I like to keep my options open” because that gives a semblance of wanting to serve without really committing to anything. When the church leaders ask for help never make yourself visible – stare at the floor or better yet escape to the bathroom!
4. [ME FIRST] – Choose to put your own desires over God’s desires for you. If you would rather go fishing on Sunday then go fishing; if you just need a “Me” day then be sure to take it on a Sunday. Give God your leftovers that way you never have to sacrifice anything for Him. Take your cut of your time, money and energy first and then if there is anything left give some to God – but don’t get carried away. Only serve God when it is easy, convenient and costs nothing. A God-first heart is ripe for growth so make sure you always put yourself first.
3. [YOU KNOW WHAT I HEARD?] – Gossip, not just a little, but as often as possible. Talk about people and their problems – make stuff up if you have to, at least exaggerate. There is a proverb that tells the story of a person who repeated gossip – some rumor about a neighbor. Soon, the whole community had heard the rumor. Later, the person who spread the gossip learned that the rumor was untrue. The person was very sorry and went to an elder in the community who had a reputation for great wisdom to seek advice. The elder told the person, “Go to your home and take a feather pillow outside. Rip it open and scatter the feathers, then return to me tomorrow.” The person did as the elder had instructed. The next day, the person visited the elder. The elder said, “Go and collect the feathers you scattered yesterday and bring them back to me.” The person went home and searched for the feathers, but the wind had carried them all away. The person returned to the elder and said, “I could find none of the feathers I scattered yesterday.” “You see,” said the elder, “it’s easy to scatter the feathers but impossible to get them back.” So it is with gossip; it doesn’t take much to spread hurtful words, but once you do, you can never completely undo the damage. TOTALLY NOT TRUE! I am positive that you could find the feathers if you really wanted to! Gossip is a great way to judge others and build a sense of distrust, hurt and division – practice it often!
2. [NO MERCY] – Never forgive anyone for anything. Harbor bitterness in your heart and let it grow. Daydream about how nice it would be to pay back the person that wronged you with some kind of vindictive response. Never initiate a conversation with a person that hurt you – in fact, avoid them at all costs. Keep a list of all the people that have ever harmed you in any way and refer back to it often so you never lose track of all the people you need to be mad at. Just because Jesus forgave you doesn’t mean that you need to forgive anyone else!
1. AND THE NUMBER ONE WAY TO DESTROY CHURCH GROWTH IS… [WHATEVER] – Work hard at developing spiritual apathy – don’t care about anything that God cares about. Fall asleep in church and then tell people how good the sleep was. Tell your pastor that you never remember what he preaches. Forsake any kind of daily devotional life. Pray only when your life is in danger or when you really want something for yourself. Become hard-hearted and insensitive to truth. A “Whatever” attitude is the very best way to destroy church growth because God has chosen people to accomplish his work and if we don’t care then church growth will be impossible.