from Kicking Habits, Welcome Relief for Addicted Churches by Dr. Thomas G. Bandy.
The congregation must have a vision. The difficulty with perceiving a vision, ist that too often the congregation is unable to discern between an authentic calling of Jesus Christ, and its abiding addictions to past ideals, forms, and procedures. Addiction is the right word. Just as an alcoholic, smoker, or drug abuser chronically denies the destructive impact of certain habitual behavior patterns, so also congregations simply cannot "see" that the demise of their congregational health is directly connected to their dogged and misplaced loyalty to the "sacred cows" of former ideals, forms, and procedures. Just as an addict dimly perceives the truth, but then rationalizes that a "gradual" change in the behavior pattern will "eventually" lead to freedom and health, so also many congregations only pretend to transform their church.