If you want to know what’s really happening to America, simply look at what’s happening with her church congregations. For many years, statistics have steadily shown a decline in church attendance among “Born Again” believers. This exodus isn’t limited to just young adults; it also includes the middle-aged and the elderly. America was once known for her church attendance. Now she teeters on the brink of loosing her status as being a predominately “Christian country.”
I believe this falling-away is due in large to churches not providing their people with what they spiritually need. Congregations have grown dissatisfied with ministers that make their own ministries the central focus of their congregation. They’ve grown dissatisfied with endless appeals for money to fund the kingdoms of men, rather than the Kingdom of God. They’ve grown dissatisfied with sitting in a building instead of being used in the Body of Christ. They’ve grown dissatisfied with sermons that neither challenge nor change an individual. People need involvement in the supernatural. They’re longing for an experience with the living God; an experience that gives them both the realization of who they are in God, and how they fit within the His Body. What they need is power, not a pew. Power, not to become a better son of Adam, but instead to be translated into a true Son of God. Without such transformation, the Church suffers, and the negative fruit from such suffering adversely affects not only the individual, but also their Church and the world to which they are called to serve. Paul describes such affliction in the following manner:
1 Corinthians 3:3
(3) For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
Frustrations and problems within the Church, Paul said, are ultimately traced to one’s unwillingness to grow beyond their own spiritual immaturity. Look how the Amplified Bible translates this same verse:
1 Corinthians 3:3 AMP
(3) For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?
America has problems. That’s a given. You cannot turn on any source of media without being bombarded by the ills of her woes. Regardless what may be argued, the root of America’s problem is not ungodly politicians or liberal judges, it’s not TV, MTV, or Hollywood, it’s not the super wealthy or the impoverished poor, and it’s also not her enemies or her allies. Any of these ills are real issues; but still they are only symptoms of a real problem; not the problem itself. No, the root problem of America is the absence of Jesus Christ in the lives of her citizens; both in the lives of those who are unchurched, and moreover, in the lives of those who confess to being saved. If Jesus were more active in the lives of America’s citizens, He would be allowed to work to solve more of America’s problems. So the issue isn’t so much what is wrong, but instead it’s more about what is not right.
The Church does not need a new program for outreach. The machinery needed to build the true Church of Jesus Christ is already in place. New souls are naturally birthed into the Kingdom of God when Jesus (the husband) and His Church (the bride) come together. This is Jesus’ biblical way of Church growth. To make this type growth a reality, Jesus set ministers (apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers) in His Church. Their job it is to mature the saints (see Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV). Once this is achieved, these same ministers are to help facilitate these various ministries in their Church and their community. This is how the First Century multiplied their efforts and turned their world upside down. Today, it is the same way by which the Church can turn their world toward the things of God.
Copyright © 2011 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.