I’m sure it happens to congregations with memberships under 100, but for congregations with a membership of 300+ it sure seems to happen quite often: the “numbers” dip, the “panic” sets in, and the search for a more “open-minded” preacher begins – with the “elders” often leading the search from behind the flock.
Soon afterwards, grace becomes a concept instead of a doctrine, and doctrine becomes a dirty-word; the concern for the straight and narrow gives way to new horizons, new wineskins and new fellowships. This is followed by “contemporary” worship practices with women becoming a key part to the public services. Ultimately it becomes fashionable to refer to denominations as tribes, the church of Christ included; and then in one fashion or another, the means of finding salvation in Christ becomes completely foreign to the scriptures.
Such has always been the case, and such will always be the case for those who become more concerned with the hundreds than with the 144,000.
“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29-30)