To Fix This Church…

…a few good funerals

What do people mean when they have death wishes for leaders? I’ve heard them countless times. A church isn’t growing as it should. Or, there may be sustained conflict in the church.

Someone states, “What it’s gonna take to get this church straightened out is a few good funerals.” How’s that for a Christian perspective on how to have a healthy church?

I’ve had businessmen tell me they’ve heard the same thing about a company. “The only thing that’ll turn this business around is a few good funerals.”

Think about the statement: “What it’s gonna take to get this church straightened out is a few good funerals.”

Ask some questions:

  • Do you want the church straightened out, healthy, growing?
  • How soon would you want to see these good things happening?
  • Whose funerals would you like to attend the next couple of weeks to accomplish this?

I’ve heard some sincere, concerned Christians make these statements. What’s the person communicating who says this?
What I hear is someone who feels

  1. Helpless and
  2. Hopeless.
    It may be a toxic head elder who dominates the congregation and no one will disagree with him. The rest of the elders don’t know how or it isn’t worth the trouble. It may be good men who’ve served well for years. But time and age have taken their toll and they no longer have the health and energy to lead as they have in the past.
    Now, many members feel stuck. They have no idea how to improve and revitalize a church they’ve loved and see dying.

What can Christians do in a congregation where they feel stuck?

  1. Express appreciation for what the good the leaders have done. Read: 4 Ways to Get Rid of a Bad Elder
  2. Communicate your concern and ask how you might help the church to be more effective.
  3. If there’s sin involved, follow Jesus’ instruction on how to confront it. Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Timothy 5:19, 20
  4. Keep your commitment to the Lord regardless of what others do.
  5. Study God’s word.
  6. Pray.
  7. Teach.
  8. Encourage others.
  9. Plant seeds in the hearts of young people to bear fruit years from now.
  10. Don’t give up. Galatians 6:9
  11. Serve others as you have opportunity. Galatians 6:10


The undertaker is not the key to church growth. The “few good funerals” won’t solve the church’s problems. The identified patient is rarely the cause of the problem, but it’s the place where the symptoms of the group show up.
The leaders you have, which some wish to die, are the product of the congregation. This church taught them. They selected them. They encouraged or didn’t encourage them. Everybody’s done everything exactly right to get to the place you are now. Unless the group changes, the church will remain the same.

There are people waiting to take the place of the dead men immediately after the closing service at the cemetery. They’ve been trained by the same group.

The group changes one at a time.
Will you be one of the ones? Joshua 24:14,15

What suggestions do you have to replace the funeral solution?

(Visited 683 times, 13 visits today)
Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

4 Responses to “To Fix This Church…

  • Charlie Harrison
    5 years ago

    To choose to submit to God and one another as taught in Holy Scripture is a beginning point in resolving such issues. Shepherds must first submit themselves to God and then lead the flock of God to do the same. While this is not an “easy fix” it will lead the flock in submission, service and the paths of righteousness.

    • Jerrie W. Barber
      5 years ago


      Thank you for responding. You are on target.

  • Brad Howard
    5 years ago

    Someone has to have the courage to stand up and say, I disagree, and not be afraid of the chaos that follows. Remain calm and simply say what you have come to believe to be true. Avoid distortions and generalizations. Project love. Appeal to people to be patient and resist fight/flight behavior. If there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, this is when they will show their teeth. And pray there are others who will be emboldened to join in simple truth-telling.

    • Jerrie W. Barber
      5 years ago


      You are correct. And that’s the reason many congregations and individuals get to the pont of despair and wish for funerals. They want the situation to be better but don’t want to go through the pain and agony to help make it better.

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