Saint John's Syndrome

The name of Saint John's Syndrome is obviously borrowed from the biblical Saint John who wrote about this disease in the Bible. John described it in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Revelations.
Saint John's Syndrome is a psychological problem of second-generation churches which lack the commitment of the first generation. This second generation lacks the same sense of purpose as the first members.

In other words: it is a sort of apathy or 'lukewarmness' of the believers who take the church for granted. Believers stop actively participating in festivities or other activities. They take the church (the building and the institution itself) and what it stands for for granted.

Saint John's Syndrome is only one of the problems that can beset a church. To be complete, I shall mention these other problems[1].

[1] Ethnikitis happens when a church finds itself in an changing neighbourhood and refuses to adapt to serve the people who now actually live in their community.
[2] People Blindness occurs when we look past the different kinds of people around us. The people are there but we, for various reasons, seem not to be able to see them.
[3] Hypercooperation happens when a church works harder to get along with other believers rather than focusing on God’s mission.
[4] Koinonitis is the disease we experience when our local fellowship is too tight to let new people in.
[5] Sociological Strangulation happens when the potential of growth is there but we can’t keep up with leadership and structural development to support growth.
[6] Arrested Spiritual Development is the condition where long-time “disciples” of Jesus have not progressively grown into becoming like Jesus.

[1] Peter Wagner: The Healthy Church (1996)

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