Let me play hard-nosed businessman here for a moment. In business, the bottom line is, “Are we making a profit?” If the company doesn’t make a profit, it won’t exist for long. There is also a bottom line for churches.
Far too often, I encounter pastors and the churches they lead that have no concern about the bottom line. They seem oblivious to one crucial matter that will determine if their church will exist in 10 years or 50 years. In the church, the bottom line is whether we are leading people to make decisions to place their trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. Unless there is a steady stream of new converts coming into the church it will go out of existence in one generation. That is a simple, bald-faced look at reality.
But, few churches are willing to take that stark look at reality. They are content to do the “activities” of church with no regard to whether the bottom line is being met. It seems enough to teach the word, have nice potlucks, have fun fund-raising activities for the poor, and communicate love to one another. The ones that really excel at doing the activities of the church end up growing numerically because already existing Christians transfer from the smaller churches that aren’t doing quite as good a job of doing the activities. In other words, smaller churches are not so appealing to the consumer- oriented Christians who are filling our churches at this time. But, transfer growth is not real growth of the church, and the day is rapidly approaching when there simply won’t be many Christians left who haven’t already transferred to the larger churches. The days of churches growing by transfer growth are rapidly drawing to a close because all the people who were going to transfer out of the smaller churches into the larger ones will have already done so. If we don’t start winning serious numbers of non-Christian people to faith in the Lord, the church will die.
But, instead, pastors are content to do the activities of the church with no regard for the bottom line. They think it is enough if they do a good job of teaching the word. If they do enough personal ministry to the people of the church that
the people are relatively content, they breathe a sigh of relief that they may not get run out of town on a rail anytime soon. If their church happens to slowly grow a little bit, they are overjoyed. All the while they are completely unaware that there is a massive tsunami wave gathering offshore. They are just happy to get through the day with no problems more serious than a copier malfunction.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I think we have 10 years or less to see a huge change taking place in the church before things get really desperate. Soon the church will be a tiny remnant of our society. Now that only about 4% of 18-30 year olds are accepting Christ as their Savior, the church is heading for the precipice. If this doesn’t change, and change soon, the church will become a tiny little fraction of our society and the persecution, which has slowly begun, will become a tidal wave.
I see only one solution to this problem. There needs to be a nationwide awakening of the church. It needs to happen soon. Will you join me in praying that God would raise up men and women who realize what is at stake, who recognize our almost total failure to reach lost people, and who are willing to risk it all to call the church to repentance? And will you make sure that in your sphere of influence you are consistently calling the church to its primary task of reaching lost people.
To join together in making this happen email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 303-290-9083.