Learn how to prevent or recover from a church split.

10 Ways to Cause a Church Split

29 April

If you want to CAUSE a church split…

Here Are


You Should Do

1. Make the church a dictatorship. When pastors take a “my way or the highway” approach, it’s only a matter of time when people take them up on the offer and hit the highway.

2. Make the church a democracy. It’s dangerous to have a church culture where everyone thinks they know better than the pastor and senior leaders.

3. Keep changing the church’s mission and vision every few years. People get on a bus because they like where it’s going—and they’re likely to get off a bus that keeps changing destinations.

4. Create a culture of perfectionism, judgmentalism and exclusion. It’s quite an ego trip to think you’re creating the perfect church, but things always go south when reality sets in.

5. Split doctrinal hairs and major on minors. Churches that insist on splitting doctrinal hairs will eventually end up splitting.

6. Evaluate the church’s success solely on the basis of numbers. While numbers are one indication of church health, God cares even more about things such as faithfulness, character, transformation and healthy relationships.

7. Put the pastor on a pedestal. If we treat pastors as infallible, sinless and untemptable, we’re setting them up for a devastating fall.

8. Raise people to leadership positions based on their charisma rather than their character. Because of their strong personality or impressive spiritual gifts, bitter and divisive people are often unwisely placed into leadership.

9. Grant influence to people based on their financial standing or family connections instead of their spiritual maturity. Churches that show favoritism on the basis of such superficial and fleshly considerations are laying a foundation that is likely to crack.

10. Make the church a social club instead of Christ’s bride, family and army. Churches that lose sight of their God-given mandate and mission will ultimately drift into irrelevance.


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3 Responses to “10 Ways to Cause a Church Split”

  1. Molly Stokas April 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    What a resourceful site! Just what we needed. Thank you!

  2. Eric J. Hanson December 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Terrific little “to the point” blog! These ten points are solidly true. Let’s not keep making the same mistakes over and over through the years.

    • Hessy January 3, 2015 at 9:54 am #

      Hey, that’s a clever way of thniking about it.

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