Before you even get started reading this article I need to make something very clear. I believe very strongly in the church and its mission to tell the world about Jesus. Therefore, nothing I’m about to write has anything to do with putting any church down or comparing churches. I only write articles after God puts something heavy on my heart that needs to be spoken. So, here I go with speaking the cold, honest, truth about something being thought in churches all over the United States.
Earlier I had a lady share with me something very disturbing with tears filling her eyes. She said, “What do you do when you know the only reason you’re still going to your church is because you want to make sure no one takes your burial spot?” I responded, “Sadly you’re far from the first person that has ever told me that. In fact, it’s something that has been mumbled by many “use to be” faithful church goers for the past 20 years. But, it’s definitely starting to surface more and more as times get tougher.”
Understand that this wasn’t just any church goer. This was someone who’s been at the same church for over 65 years. This was someone who has maintained commitment through the good, bad, and now even worse. This was someone who would give anything she could to help her church withstand the test of times. But, even with her extreme commitment she realizes that her church is daily dying a slow death. The other seniors at her table chimed in by saying “We’ve got no future because we’ve hardly got anyone that is not a senior citizen.”
Now, I could write volumes about this subject matter and what must be done to turn things around. But, unfortunately most don’t want to accept the truth. The truth is that 80% of churches that exist today won’t still be here in the next decade or two. Why? Because most of them are simply existing. Meaning someone is still opening the doors, paying the light bill, and holding services. In the meantime, rarely do they ever see a new face along with seeing many old faces go away. This is indeed sad because many of these churches used to have great impact.
Sadly, most churches have become inward focused and forgot that the greatest mission happens outside the church. Sadly, most churches have continued with methods that haven’t worked for decades and therefore they’ve seen little fruit for decades. Sadly, most churches are full of people who operate with no clear vision and no clear mission. Sadly, most churches are full of just a handful of people who were taught to run a members-only club instead of a hospital for sinners like you and me. Sadly, most churches haven’t decided to do whatever it takes to reach people who are presently far from Jesus. Sadly, most churches will spend more time trying to defend their agenda instead of getting on board with God’s agenda.
Now, this article is not about comparing a traditional church with a contemporary church. Quite frankly to be contemporary simply means to be doing everything you can in the present to make an everlasting impact for Jesus Christ. It’s not about whether your church has pews or chairs. It’s not about whether your church sings hymns or has a full band. It’s about realizing that the church of today needs to wake up. We aren’t called just to turn the lights on, but to be light to those around us. We aren’t called just to gather with ourselves, but to always be genuinely concerned about those who aren’t gathering and desperately need Jesus. I pray in some way, shape, or form God uses this article to light a fire underneath every believer in Jesus Christ that makes up the church. We’re greater together than we are apart.
Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20