The 8 Deadly Sins of the Church

Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson

“What is your primary reason for being?” This is the first question my friend Bill
, Executive Director of the Center for Healthy Churches, asks when assessing
the health of a congregation. Bill, who is in fifth decade of church ministry and
leadership, contends that “All organizations, including churches, have a reason for
being. Only a few actually know that reason and articulate it and live into it.”
He wrote a blog in March titled The 8 Deadly Sins of the Church. In it,
he names eight common congregational mindsets in declining and dying churches
across the country:

  1. Building-centric
  2. Denomination-centric
  3. Doctrine-centric
  4. Laity-centric
  5. Money-centric
  6. Pastor-centric
  7. Program-centric
  8. Staff-centric

At the end of the article Bill offers a healthy alternative to the eight scenarios above,
which he calls mission-centric: seeking to align congregational life with the mission
of God as articulated by Jesus: To love God, to love our neighbor, and to make

Do we know why we exist at First Baptist Church? What’s your “elevator speech”
about our identity and purpose as a congregation? What would a newcomer assume
is our main reason for being, if she or he were simply to observe us as a community?
Let’s keep talking about this together.

Peace and grace,