US Ministry

Fragmented Church

 

The main directive that Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 28 was that they "make disciples". This is the purpose statement that should drive every Christian, in one way or another. So, how can we say that we are in ministry if we aren't doing the very thing that Jesus wanted us to do?

 

Many churches are not REALLY making disciples. They have a "holy huddle" on Sundays, patting each other on the back, and smiling real big. They might "cheer" their favorite pastoral staff "team" while he is saying the things that they like to hear. But if the "team" starts to focus on blocking and tackling.... they get nervous and consider switching "teams". If ever a proposal is made to consider using significant amounts of the resources that the group of "fans" spend on themselves it is immediately shot down. They don't want to sacrifice too much. The leadership "team" is replaceable and they don't really want to be reminded of the main objective... making disciples "to the ends of the earth".

 

Now... that is the picture of many churches here in North America. The Church in this part of the world is in trouble. If you live in a larger city you may think otherwise. There seems to be churches EVERYWHERE ! One source1 indicates that there are approximately 314,000 churches in America. The reality is that 59% have less than 100 people and the average church has approximately 75 on a given Sunday.  A conservative count indicates that there are 217 different denominations, plus there are also 35,000 independent churches with no denominational affiliation. Even though this would indicate that 23.5 million people attend church on any given Sunday it is still the most segregated hour of the week. The church has numbers, but it is fragmented and incapable of accomplishing what it could if it were united and operating as a whole.

 

Now this is a very generic and generalize observation... but the point is that we need to be focusing on the task that Jesus gave us. If every church and every person who follows Jesus were to do that individually, we would accomplish so much. Each of us as followers of Jesus are His disciples and we have been commissioned with a task.... MAKE DISCIPLES.

 

Footnotes:

1. Hartford Institute for Religion Research