Every church has an organizational culture. Some churches have a culture of optimism. You can feel the energy in worship. Others are pessimistic. You can sense the deadness when you walk into the sanctuary.

Every church also faces obstacles. What is the difference between churches that approach obstacles with a “can do” attitude over others that have a “can’t do” attitude? What makes a church have a lively optimism over a dead pessimism? 

We’re the right size. The people of the “can’t do” congregation believe the church is too small (or large) to accomplish something. The “can do” church is always the right size. Church size is not an issue for an optimistic church. 

We have the right people. The “can’t do” church sees the people it doesn’t have as a problem. The “can do” church sees the people it has as an opportunity. 

It’s always the right time. The “can’t do” church is stuck in the past or asleep dreaming about the future. The “can do” church believes now is the time to act.

We have the right staff. The “can’t do” congregation believes it must get staffing correctly aligned before ministry can be accomplished. The “can do” congregation doesn’t ignore needed staffing changes but also keeps moving forward with whatever staff is in place.

We have the exact resources God wants us to have.  The “can’t do” church believes more money is needed. The “can do” church does ministry with whatever resources God has provided.

The “can’t do” church views insufficiencies as an obstacle. The “can do” church believes in the sufficiency of God. When a culture of pessimism lingers, the walking spiritually dead take over. With a culture of optimism, however, churches maintain a “can do” attitude that champions the gospel.


This article was written by Sam Rainer and originally published at churchanswers.com on 8. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.

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