Lyle Schaller, the guru of church authors, claims that churches need to redefine themselves from time to time, otherwise they drift into a passive state. He says that congregations often "recreate yesterday," by living out the same year over and over.
Signs of passivity include church newsletters from today that are similar in content from years gone by. Also prevalent is the attitude that new members will adopt the policies, practices, and methods put in place by their elders, sometimes decades ago.
A significant obstacle to overcoming passivity is that church members are often steeped in their own traditions, and are unfamiliar with new and exiting forms of ministry that are readily available to them.