Monday, July 6, 2015
Well, I have not been posting for a long time. Essentially, my neck has just been too sore to justify extra time on the computer. However, with surgery in 14 days I can risk taking pain medicine that I normally avoid--don't want to become addicted. For the next week I really wanted to post some observations and research on "the church." Hope you enjoy these and find them helpful over the next week!
Through the years the "Evangelical Church" has often been defined by three traits:
1. Commitment to the truth of the Bible.
2. Commitment to personal salvation through a deliberate conversion to Christ.
3. Commitment to reaching others for Christ — usually described as "the lost."
I do not have a struggle with these basic goals, but in practice I perceive another agenda. I think it often looks like this:
1. Personal commitment to Christ that involves admitting sin, but doesn’t mean absolute rejection of our personal goals and radical commitment to Christ.
2. Find a church that presents a self-satisfying worship format and an encouraging message.
3. Little commitment to the lost, but significant voice service to the same.
4. Willingness to point out why others need to admit their sins — especially the ones we find offensive — and radically change or at least have them say a prayer to ensure they do not burn in hell.
Does my list sound like reality? Does it somehow raise some questions in your mind? Is it possible that despite our desire to obey and honor God's word, we have, in fact, created a self-serving narcissistic U.S. Christian church that is failing to show Christ to the world and is failing to actually live for Him?
Currently in the U.S, it seems about 12% of our nation is in church on a non-holiday weekend, despite almost 70% of our nation claiming to be Christian “in general."
Currently about 2% of our nation’s Christian churches are growing by "conversion growth” versus transfer from other churches.
Less than 1/3 of our Christian churches saw a convert last year, and many say the number is much lower.
Of the 2% of the Christian churches that are growing by "conversion growth," I see a huge push for "conversion" but a very low priority on converting to the “way of Christ” to the point that our lives are totally rerouted in a new direction.
I would suggest we need to re-examine Scriptures and ask, "What would our lives look like if we totally sold out to Christ? How could we effectively show that walk with Christ to the world?"