What are the cultural realities that are crippling the church?
1. Not Holy Spirit led. It is rare to see anything like what you read about in the book of Acts happen in churches today. When’s the last time the Holy Spirit has moved among the people of your church? If you can’t point to something, that may be a sign of a powerless (Acts 1:8) church.
2. Not serving their community. Simply protesting against sin in the world without proactively working for good causes in the community creates a negative impression in the minds of those who drive past your church on Sundays. Also, consumerism has most definitely infected the church and it is reflected in how praise and worship is conducted. When you have Christians (no matter their age) content to sit and attend services (no matter the type) while refusing to stand up and serve others, you have an irrelevant church.
3. Bible knowledge alone equals spiritual maturity. Bible knowledge is foundational to spiritual maturity, but it does not in and of itself equal spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity comes with obedience and love towards others. Paul warned about this in 1 Corinthians 8:1 when he said, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.”
4. No John 17 unity. Jesus himself prayed (John 17:23) that his followers would be one, so that the world may know that we are his disciples. The early church brought men and women, Greeks and Jews, slaves and free, all together under the name of Jesus. Do we see that same unity today, or is the church divided along racial, political, theological and socio-economic lines?
Regardless, God is still on His throne. Jesus is still building his church. The Holy Spirit continues to do his work. My prayer is that the church will start being part of the solution.
Live a Prayer-Care-Share Lifestyle
In Mark 9, Jesus modeled this for us:
- Prayer = Jesus said His disciples couldn’t heal the boy because it required prayer
- Care = Had compassion on the boy and his dad
- Share = Jesus asked the boy’s dad to proclaim faith in Him before healing his son
Powerful Christians live accordingly, not content simply to invite people to church or stop at “telling their story”. They understand that bringing people to Christ involves taking personal responsibility for all 3 – praying, caring and sharing.