The story of that church has been used as evidence that some churches can't survive in some neighborhoods. My suspicion (based on evidence) is that the church in question died, not because the city lost control of the neighborhood, but because the church lost the gospel.
This discussion that I observed got me started thinking about what kinds of questions a church should consider when a relocation seems like a desirable option. These questions are certainly not comprehensive, but I believe they are worth answering.
- What are we doing right now to evangelize our current community?
- What makes us think we will do a better job of evangelizing our next community?
- Who will evangelize this community after we are gone?
- Are there greater internal obstacles to our church's ministry than the limitations of our facility?
- Do we want to move to enhance the depth or the breadth of our ministry?
- Do we want to move because the people in our neighborhood aren't the same color as we are?
- Would the money we would spend on relocating more effectively advance the spread of the gospel if it were used in some other way?
- Should we plant a church instead?
- Are we motivated more by a desire to spread the gospel or by a desire to stabilize our church's future?
- Do we think that people will come just because we build?