I was reading an article last night about Church Life Cycles, by the Congregational minister Robert Neilson. According to some theorists, Churches are like human bodies (one calls Churches a Body, after all). There is birth, childhood, adolescence, youthful vigour, maturity, old age, terminal decline, and death ... then resurrection. Will the Church become "a carpet warehouse"? At that point, God's resurrection power intervenes, perhaps through a small remnant (a living spiritual rest in the Church's midst). OBSERVATION: What is the main reason for a Church beginning to slide? Robert Neilson says that "paradoxically and rather perversely, sections of the congregation who have been around a long time ... look back". And there you go. It kills it. If I understand it correctly, this theory differs from others in that it holds that this process is inevitable.