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Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

I struggled writing this. Mainly because there are so many articles out there giving statistics and figures and I didn’t want this to disappear in the ever growing pile on this subject. At this point almost everyone who really cares already knows this fact and everyone that doesn’t know wouldn’t care when they found out.

“But, there is a church on every corner of every city in America, how can it be the end?!” And while this might be true, it doesn’t mean we are still “fighting the good fight,” as Paul would say.  If we look around us, around those same churches “on every corner” we can see that non-Christians are more hardened to the Gospel than ever before.

How has it come to this? How can there be a church on every corner yet people are walking away in droves in anger and frustration? New believers have stopped coming through our doors and when a new church is built it is so often filled with the people that just left the church down the street?

We are the ones to blame. After generations of teaching new believers that what we see today is really all there is to Christianity.

Prone to leave the God I love

christianity lifeboatAnd I have a hard time not agreeing with the critic’s point of view.

There is nothing at your average church that you can’t find at a rock concert or college lecture (be it filled with hipsters or grey hairs, respectively).

The average “Christian” looks like the average non-Christian, so, rightly, what is the point in believing?

The outside of our buildings look great but beyond that awesome selfie in front of the gothic cathedral there isn’t anything attractive about the church as a whole today.

This is sin, fully at work in our lives.

We have leaders teaching either ‘anything goes’ (where the Gospel is the ONLY conversation) with no follow through on how to live a Godly life, or saying ‘nothing goes’ with so many rules and stipulations that the Gospel isn’t ever in the conversation because we can’t ever work hard enough to get a chance to hear about it.

Obviously these are extremes, I don’t believe any one Church would think it was doing either of these things, but we can all think of churches we personally know of that have fallen into one of these two categories or somewhere else along the spectrum.

Our country is more like the world we see in the first few centuries of the early church than it ever has been before.

Hostile to the Church.

Why?

Because of our failure to follow the New Testament’s teaching on how to be the church, we are now in a culture that has heard of Christianity, and thinks they know what it is about, but ultimately are foreigners to the ideas of Sin, Salvation, Redemption, Grace, Mercy, Love (the true kind), and Sacrifice.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it

umbrellaHowever, there is still hope.

There are many churches that see this change and are working hard against it to better equip their believers and help them really live the life the New Testament calls us to live. Churches that emphasize serving Christ “New Testament” style with work that is hands on in their neighborhoods and communities.

But we need to be careful, even when we do this, because we have spent 200 (in America) to 2000 (across Christendom) years building our own traditions on top of what we see in the New Testament. We need to make sure our Churches are ready to be as flexible as they need them to be in order to be there for the lost and brokenhearted.

Does this mean we compromise? No, we already see what compromising does to our churches, (hint: look around) but it does mean a deep analysis of what we do.

It means asking ourselves, “Is this biblical? Or is this tradition man has created?”

It is easy to do this when we are talking about our programs and outreaches, it is harder to do this when we talk about our worship services and leadership development.

We must ask ourselves, 'Is this #biblical? Or is this tradition man has created?' Click To Tweet

Seal it for Thy courts above

Christianity clifftopI do think that the church in the U.S. is losing ground, but Christ’s plan for this age IS. HIS. CHURCH.

It isn’t going anywhere. When He returns His church will be waiting for Him. It has already been prophesied.

The question is: Will we be standing next to each other, and our neighbors, and our friends and family, or will we be standing alone because we didn’t want to challenge our long-held assumptions on what the church is “supposed” to be?

We need to work harder than ever before because of the mistakes we have made.

But we can do it.

The prophets kept working in their cities. Paul and his followers dealt with beatings, prison, and ultimately death but ran the race and fought the good fight.

We can do the same as long as we see that “fighting the good fight” means taking care of the widows and orphans and “running the race” is effectively raising leaders and planting churches.

Despite the slander and condemning tone of the world around us, We Need To Be Bold.

We need to see the lost for what they are, not a threat, but a soul longing for Christ.

Christ’s plan for this age IS. HIS. #CHURCH. Click To Tweet

Thankfully I am not the first to see the need to take action. There are many churches and parachurch organizations that are already working towards a deeper understanding of our times, the implications of our history and, more importantly, what we must be ready to do next, The Borough being one of them.

So, the question is: Will you do your Sunday duty and live your life as you see fit? Or will you be a part of the shift, the re-focus back onto Christ and the teachings that came from His Apostles on how we should live?

Will we be the church Christ has called us to be?

A chapter of our church history is closing, but the beginning of the future of the church is at hand.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

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