Helping Churches to Close Well
“For everything there is a season” we read in Ecclesiastes 3.
Coming to the decision that it may be time to cease worship, and to write the final chapter in the story of a local church is never easy. There are naturally lots of emotions involved. The stories, memories and deep spiritual moments that a building holds are precious. Being the people who make a decision to close is a heavy responsibility.
And yet, it can also be a faithful, Spirit-led decision.
Congregations and churches have life-cycles, every church began as a plant at some time in history. Every church has times of growth and decline, flourishing and struggle. We should not expect every church to last forever. Struggling on is not necessarily faithfulness.
Sometimes, the most faithful response is to agree to close, and in so doing look for ways in which God’s work will continue in new ways.
The death of a church can lead to resurrection life for God’s work in new and transformed ways.
However, that journey is difficult and painful.
If your church is deciding to close and feel it would be helpful to have some pastoral and spiritual support from outside your local context, please contact the District Office. We will be glad to link you up with someone who can accompany you on that journey.
Permission to Cease Worship Pro Forma
Methodist Guidance on Church Closures from the Connexion