Easter morning in northeastern Indiana was bright and beautiful. We were excited to join our daughter and son-in-law for worship at their church. While shaving, to get ready, I turned on CNN Headline news. Two separate reports confirmed what I feared for decades: “The Muslim religion is now the fastest growing religion in the world, outpacing Christianity.” I’ve known for some time Christians were losing ground and have dedicated all my adult life to increasing the effectiveness of Christian outreach. The news story was like a punch to my spiritual gut.
The lead commentary later announced, “Today is Easter, the day when Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.” Of course, anyone with two years of children’s Sunday school knows the ascension came several weeks later. The public media worked so hard to get the facts straight! It is another sign of widespread biblical illiteracy.
For God’s sake (and I mean that biblically speaking), when are we, Christians, and our churches going to wake up to our one and only mission the resurrected Jesus gave us? So many congregations are plateaued or declining, and aging. Most of the “growing” congregations are inheriting people from declining churches. The few churches that are reaching truly unchurched people are excited by their additions. Yet, the brilliant Leader (Jesus) designed this movement to make disciples, a strategy resulting in exponential growth by geometric progression. This lifestyle, the imprint of Jesus is unrecognizable to most Christians. Those who think they get it are confused by institutional programs to teach the Bible. Making disciples isn’t a ten-week program, but the lifestyle of everyone who bears the Master’s name.
For Heaven’s sake (literally), sound the alarm – the ship is going down! Spread the news around your church. Tell every Christian you know: It is not okay to “hold your own.” It is not okay to become marginalized in a secular world or get run over by other religions. It’s great to have “the truth,” but it’s disastrous to be sidelined, without influence, in your country or community.
Your church CAN do Christianity right. And, if you do, you will see results. You will experience the movement of this faith. As a person of faith, you do not want your mark on history to be the disappearance of the greatest faith alive. I hope you get restless. I pray you lose sleep. I beg you to share these words with every Christian you know. Weep, pray, and ask yourself, “Strategically, what could my church do better to reach this world for the One who died for it, and rose again in victory that first Easter morning?” That victory is in your blood, from His blood. Ask God to resurrect you to a place of power to change this world forever for Jesus Christ.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.