Ya, I’m going to keep up this drumbeat, the evidence continues to mount and I intend to do my best to genuinely pastor a genuine Christian church in response to that evidence. I submit that all the iterations of the Christian church have done a lousy job, fussing at people doesn’t work, patronizing people doesn’t work, setting up phoney hurdles doesn’t work, wishy-washy liberalism doesn’t work. What works is Law and Gospel, seriously presented Law and Gospel of the Bible.
When I say that the evidence continues to mount, I refer to more research by David Kinnaman of Barna Research. Kinnaman has been added to my list of “I’d read his grocery list if he published it”. Barna Group’s recent research shows that while there is a move away from the church, it’s not because of a disbelief or rejection of God, or of Christianity. More and more the evidence points to the rejection of the church. It’s time to for the end of the phoney-baloney liberal church, it’s time for the end of the “feel-good” church, whatever goes church, the legalistic church, the palsey church. It is time for the genuine Christian church and all the indicators point to the need for the genuine church to reassert itself. For too long the church has worried and fussed about being popular, that’s not what it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be Christ’s church and His Voice, not the world’s, not a popularity contest and filling the position and need that the world is realizing isn’t being met.
62% of unchurched people 2 out of 3, “consider themselves Christians.” Obviously what they need is not happening in the church as it is today, or not finding the right Christian church.
“About one-third (34%) …, describe themselves as “deeply spiritual.’ Four in ten ‘strongly agree that their religious faith is very important in their life today and 51% are actively seeking something better spiritually than they have experienced to day. One-third say they have an active relationship with God that influences their life and describe that relationship as ‘important to me’ (95%), ‘ satisfying’ (90%), and ‘growing deeper’ ( 73%).”
Clearly there is something missing, and too many, even among those in the church are realizing it and are searching for it and the church is failing to provide it. It’s time for genuine worship, Law and Gospel, it’s time for a strong, courageous church, that, empowered by the Holy Spirit, stands for Christ and His Word and not for the politically, socially and theologically popular. Worship is about glorifying God, praising Him, lifting Him up. It’s not about the pastor, he is there to point to Jesus so that people will leave that church knowing Christ better, not the preacher. It’s time for genuine discipleship, people want to “grow deeper”, and the church is treating it as if it’s just a social event. The church needs to grow in discipleship, prayer, genuine worship, genuinely lead as Christians, instead of competing for world popularity. The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod does have genuine worship and truly preaches Law and Gospel in Jesus. The need is out there and the LCMS stands ready to provide, let’s show the world what the church of Jesus will be.