Listen up churches,
You have the option, and it's not one I'm going to choose on your behalf. You may choose to die. But if that is the option you have chosen, don't pretend, be honest about it. There's no shame in answering the call to death so that new life may spring up.
But don't pretend that you're interested in growth if you're not willing to change.
Growth is a kind of change.
When churches change, one of the complaints that ministers often here is that "This doesn't feel like my church anymore." Here's my response:
Was it ever yours to begin with? Or is does the church belong to Jesus Christ?
A church with whom I used to be associated has recently realized that their old members keep getting older, and new members are not replacing them. The result has been that they are trying to grow those young families, they say they want them, and are implementing programs to gather them in.
But they're not willing to actually change anything. It's like they're looking for young families who are already the same as they already are.
Well if you're not attracting new members, perhaps that oppressive sameness is the reason? Each generation has its own needs, its own issues, and for a church to fail to deal with them ignores their existence and doesn't feed the hunger that each group has. You may as well have worship in a different language!
If you are choosing not to change how you do things, you are choosing to die as an institution. Which is absolutely ok. If God is calling you as a church to minister to congregation as it declines and dies, we believe in the resurrection, and if God so wills it, a new church will rise up.
But don't pretend you want new people if you're not willing to change to accommodate them. The holy spirit is active in every time and place, and "that's the way we've always done it" is not a good enough reason.