It makes a tremendous difference in the ability of congregations to transform if they have not painted themselves into a corner regarding long-term financial obligations. Typically, congregations obligate themselves to long-term personnel costs. Beyond a commitment to the people in personnel roles and a feeling of entitlement both from the employee and parts of the congregation, is the cost.
What happens when a congregation can no longer afford all the staff it has become accustomed to having? The more the congregation shrinks and at the same time maintains the same size staff, the more it becomes overly staff-dependent.