Let’s get one thing straight, I am not a fan of the organizations I see. My experiences with the church organizations of the 21st century are not good, and I expect them to get worse. I just heard about the new fashionable church in town “that is truly alive”. I went to check out its Website. It’s got the hip,”professionally ugly” contemporary look which is supposed to be visually exciting. They are doing a lot of things. The church is growing like crazy. They are moving to a new, much larger venue. All things are good, right?
A careful perusal of the site, its doctrinal statements, the blogs, and all the rest showed the normal situation of the modern church. Jesus is never mentioned. There are no crosses. Christ is mentioned once in the doctrinal statements. Sin, repentance, the Kingdom of God, rebirth, baptism, walking in the spirit, discipleship, personal character, the Bible, or anything like that are carefully avoided—in a PC manner I assume, to avoid “offending possible new members”. There is a lot of talk about members.
Now, I have no doubt that these people consider themselves Christians. They may well talk about these things in small group meetings. But they all miss the entire point.
The mission of the church is to declare the Kingdom’s reality and disciple the converts
This mission does not require an organization, it requires a personal relationship with both the Lord and with the person involved. Any more the church organizations are more a hindrance to ministry than a help. In most the music is awful (covered by volume), and the Gospel is not preached in power. I know there are a few churches doing this. I know there’s a huge move of the Spirit in various parts of the world. But at best we are talking about millions out of billions (or less than a tenth of a percent). In America in the 21st century, apostasy is the new norm. The great move of the Spirit is affecting very few people on a percentage basis. In the USA, true converts are more rare than I’ve ever seen them. My best guess is less than 100,000 per year in the entire country and probably a lot less than that. That is less than three hundredths of a percent [.033% or less].
You need to find your fellowship with true believers. Do not worry about finding a church—unless the Lord tells you it is his mission field for you. But you will find the religious spirits of those places mean the crop harvested will be puny, at best. Gather together informally and often. Pray with and for each other. Talk to all your acquaintances, preaching Jesus’ line, “Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The Holy Spirit will enable you to help bring in the last of the harvest, for the time is now truly short—very short.
Rejoice! Look up! He is coming for us soon.
Related articles (I don’t necessarily agree with any of these links)
- Depressed about the West? (thechristianpundit.org)
- 9Marks “Mission of the church”
- The Church in Post-Christendom: Understanding the Good News (Part 2) (dakotavoice.com)
- the Church, New Media, and a Mission (begojohnson.wordpress.com)
- Jack Van Impe