How many times have you seen a building on which the name of a bank or some other business is engraved in stone only to find that the building no longer houses the institution that built it?
They did not build the building with the intent of making it available for another business. The founders of that bank did not begin with the intent of failure. But most human institutions do eventually fail.
Some in our day are ready to announce the church as another institution that will be on the list of failed ventures. While there are individual congregations and local church organizations that do fail, it is somewhat premature to order a burial plot for the church as a whole.
I must admit that sometimes it saddens me to see beautiful church buildings that are now museums, shops or restaurants. But I am quickly reminded that the building is not the church. While a local congregation may dwindle to the point where it cannot maintain a building and must sell it, that is not an indication that the church as a whole is dying.
As Christians, we should understand the reason why this is the case. Men did not found the church. Jesus makes this clear in his statement to Peter in Matthew 16:18. It is Jesus that is the founder and sustainer of the church.
The church is not an organization that is built to eventually fail. In fact, when Jesus gave us our mission of making disciples, he also told us that he would be with us as we do it. Jesus began it, Jesus sustains it, and Jesus will complete what he started.
Failure is not an option.