Killer # 4: Mediocrity

There are some rural churches that dwell in the land of betwixt and between. Not hot and not cold. Not excellent and not poor. They simply exist in a place where programs and ministry have a place but have no substance. There are bones but no meat. If this type of church were a cup of coffee, you wouldn’t want to drink it because it would be leftover and lukewarm. If it were a plate of pancakes, they would be cold and rubbery. Welcome to Mediocre Baptist Church, where activity abounds but nothing special ever happens.

We can point the finger at the pastor and the laity for this problem. These churches are usually led by a pastor, or a succession of pastors, who have never challenged the people on a personal level. He may make some rare, bold statements from the pulpit, but never to the leadership of the church directly. His desire is longevity without any hassles. This pastor may prompt the church to deeper obedience, but he will never demand it. This church evangelizes and disciples very little. They may knock on doors, but they hope no one is home. They do something that resembles worship, but it seems devoid of the presence and power of God. They are a people led by a man who has no desire to lead, and they are people who have no desire to follow. They are complacently content.

There are three words (attitudes) that are tied to mediocrity: ignorant, stubborn, and lazy. It is very difficult to do anything with ignorant, lazy, and stubborn people. Ignorance, by itself, can be overcome with discipleship. Ignorance tied to a stubborn attitude is disaster. You cannot teach a church that doesn’t want to learn. You cannot teach a church that is too lazy to learn. A church will never move if the pastor they have called is too lazy to teach or just won’t teach. The problem with ignorant, lazy, and stubborn people is that they often want to seem smart, energetic, and willing. They even think of themselves as smart, energetic, and willing. It is hard to convince a drunk that he is a drunk. It is even harder to convince a mediocre church of thier mediorcity.  They are convinced of their great zeal.

These churches are being devoured by mediocrity. They settle for fair when God requires great. When God says “all”, they say “some”.  Mediocrity is a killer.

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 12:45 pm  Comments (2)  


  1. AMEN! Great series of posts Mike. I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. Plenty of blame to go around. My greatest fear is that I’ll be that pastor. The one who, b/c it’s easier to be buddies, will never lead our people into something truly great. You start strong, bold, audacious. Maybe ignorant. Then you’re worn down as 120 people want to pour you into their mold. God help me not go there, and be that fearful pastor. To lead our church straight towards mediocrity.

  2. Josh,
    This one is where I struggle. I love to be loved so I could be very content with good rather than God’s best. Mediocrity is a stones throw away from being everyones buddy rather than the pastor. There is a fine line here that seems like a tight rope for me at times. I always appreciate your input and insight.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: