One might recall Jesus' words about saving our lives and in the process losing them. Could it be that the church is as it is in so many places not because of a lack of effort or a lack of sincerity or a lack of spirituality (or even a lack of money, commitment, or prayer), but rather because our sincere efforts, passionate prayers, and material resources are all aimed in the wrong direction—the direction of self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, self-improvement?— Brian McLaren, in "Leadership Journal"
What if saving the church is a self-defeating mission?
The church is most true to its call when it gives itself up, in its current cultural form, to be re-formed among those who do not know God's Son. In each new context the church must die to live.— Mission Shaped Church, 2004 Report by the Church of England
Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.'— John 12:23-25