How To Kill A Church In 90 Days

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By Pastor and Church Consultant, Dan Abbatiello

Based upon my experience as a pastor, church consultant and denominational official, I have discovered how to kill a church in very short order. There are 16 items, that if used together and consistently will be very effective at atrophying and eventually killing every church that employs them. Therefore, I thought I would share that wisdom with you all.

  1. Do everything yourself and do not involve others. You must prove to God and your congregation your worth and value by your hard work. And, by the way, remember the old saying, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.”
  2. Maintain strict control over everyone and everything. Nothing should happen without your ability to manage it. Giving people too much power and influence may take that away from you.
  3. Shoot from the hip, make snap decisions and never consult anyone. Do what you want, when you want. It’s faster and easier that way.
  4. Look at every planning, administration and leadership question as potential opposition and a threat to your leadership and security.
  5. Don’t allow people to meet in small groups; they may develop strong relationships with each other and need you less. They may be conspiring against your vision and leadership. They may also think of different ideas of how things could be accomplished in the church.
  6. Don’t get too close to anyone. Transparency is dangerous because your parishioners may see the real you. Therefore, you must always “save face.” since the people may lose respect for you if you show them your true humanity.
  7. Don’t allow yourself or the congregation to get too excited and passionate. They may get overly zealous and go off the deep end.
  8. Teach the people to avoid contact with unbelievers lest they “backslide.” Be careful to teach them not to speak to others about their faith. People outside the church may think they are imposing their beliefs on them and become offended. And, by the way, frame your separatist idea as developing a strong and committed community.
  9. Promote tried and true traditional ideas and programs only. New ideas and methodology can cause confusion and are harder to control.
  10. Be sure to compare yourself with other ministers and churches by being critical toward them. Your people will then know how important you and your ideas are.
  11. Be very skeptical of people with more ability and talent than you. They may draw people to themselves and pull them away from your control.
  12. Do not deal with any contemporary or controversial issues in your preaching or teaching. This may cause your people to discuss biblical ethics and morality.
  13. Allow the emotional wounds of your life to become bitterness, anger and resentment. This will develop a strong callous around your heart so you will be protected from additional hurt and wounding.
  14. Never admit you were wrong, always make excuses for yourself and blame others for any failures or disappointments.
  15. Never pray. Never seek God or allow the Holy Spirit to deal with your inner self for spiritual and emotional transformation. All of that is too time consuming and painful.
  16. Don’t use the Bible much, or at all, in your preaching and teaching. It is antiquated, not compatible with twenty first century western thought, hard to understand, easily misunderstood and very restrictive. Instead teach your congregation modern self-help methods and pop-psychology. Tell people what they want to hear so they will continue to attend church.

If your goal is to eliminate the church please follow the above plan. I believe you will see church death both swiftly and completely.

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