The Church is in trouble.
At least that is what I am supposed to believe. I hear / read reports every few weeks that talk about decline in attendance and membership. In nearly three decades of ministry I have heard from three generations as they complain about the Church and “organized religion.” Every generation, from the one before me (Baby Boomers), my generation (Gen X), and the Millennials all have similar and valid concerns. I have not conducted a formal survey, but these are the complaints (concerns) I hear:
- Church is too inward focused.
- Church is too political.
- I want sermons (classes) that are practical, that meet me where I am in my life.
- There are too many cliques at Church, I don’t fit in.
- I want a place where I can be involved (feel needed and appreciated).
- I am looking for a Bible-based Church.
- Churches need to do more to reach those in need (in need of physical, emotional, and especially spiritual help).
- Church needs to be more worshipful, a higher emphasis on praise.
- There are too many hypocrites at Church.
- Church leadership does not listen to my concerns.
- Church is too focused on traditions.
I hear you.
I hear your concerns. I share many of the same concerns as a minister. These concerns are part of what motivates me to be who I am doing what I do. I want to make the Church what she should and can be. To be completely transparent, as a young person my reasoning for going to school to become a minister had two motivations. 1. I knew I wanted to serve God and the body of Christ – the Church to the best of my ability and I was not sure I could do that in any other profession. 2. I loved the Church (I still do) but I saw some things in the congregations of my youth that concerned me. I thought if I could be in leadership I could influence changes.
Now three decades later, I want to point you to the answer to everyone of the concerns I listed above. The answer is simple, but not simplistic. The answer is in the list – the middle of the list – “a Bible-based Church.”
The answer is to be a Bible-based Church.
- We need to forego traditions and return to the Bible as our guide.
- We must as Christians live our lives based on the morals taught in the Bible.
- We must as the Church guide our worship on the Bible as we praise the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior.
- We need to point people to the ways God’s Word applies to our daily lives – and it does.
- We need to practice the fellowship and brotherhood the Bible teaches (When I read the letters Paul wrote concerning no longer being Jews or Gentiles but one people in Christ I cannot help but think of the application to modern ethnicities and nationalities and how we are one in Christ).
- We need to learn to love our neighbor as Jesus both modeled and taught.
A Bible-based Church!
That is what I want to be a part of. That is what I work for at Central. This is who I want to be.