Heartbreaking Statistics, and Heartfelt Solutions
Over the years I have noticed that it has become increasingly harder to reach people with the gospel. I read a statistic the other day that said 9 our every 10 churches are either declining or growing at a pace that is slower than the growth of their communities. I have read several statistics that say that over 70% of young people between the age of 18-25 years of age are leaving the church and they are not returning. I ask the question as to why this is happening. One of my small group members spoke up and said “people just do not think they need it anymore.” This statement got me to thinking. I have come to realize that our society operates in such a manner that it no longer needs church anymore. Who is to blame for this? Technology? Maybe. Government? Probably some. Previous Generations? It is possible. However; it is my belief that these statistics are a direct indictment on the church itself. Especially, the church in America.
Let me give you some Biblical insights to why I believe we have encountered such heartbreaking statistics.
- Evangelizing the World: Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savor wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out , and to be trodden under foot of men.” Matthew 5:14 says “ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” God wants us to be salt and light. We are to share the gospel, proclaim the Gospel, and not be ashamed of the gospel. Over the years we have lost our salt and hid our light. In order for salt and light to be productive we have to make contact. There will be no impact without contact. Salt creates thirst, and light eliminates darkness. We must ask ourselves the question: Are we proclaiming the Gospel by allowing our lives to impact the lives of others. Just think if every church member decided to be a proclaimer of the gospel. I believe we could win our nation back.
- Edifying the Saints: Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Our God-given gift is not for personal gain, or self promotion. Our gifts our to build one another up. I guess this is one of the things that bother me the most. The Christian army is so good at tearing one another down rather than building each other up. I believe this is one of the main reasons people are not getting anything from the Church today. People within the church are not leaving encouraged, equipped, or edified. They are leaving discouraged, ignorant, and torn down. We have people using pulpits and platforms to push an agenda when we should building up the body and bride of Christ. I think it is essential to create an atmosphere that builds one another up rather than tear each other down. By the way…when we complain about our church within our community we are not only hindering the progress of the local church we are impacting the Kingdom. Therefore, we are not building up the body of Christ.
- Exalting the Lord: I heard it said like this: “our sole purpose on this earth is to do everything in our power to make God look good.” I Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I believe this is the most important of them all. I believe we are losing our influence because we are failing to make God look good.
We are reflectors of God’s light, and representatives of God’s glory. We have to shine…we have to build up…and we must make God look good. Are we truly fulfilling our purpose?