Church, heal thyself?

The American church is in a dizzying tailspin. With all types of weird gimmicksspiritualistic kookiness and conferences it has seemingly lost its way, its identity and what its mission is.  And the confusion is evident as hirelings continue to cater to greedy, lazy and arrogant believers trying to keep them happy and grumble-free.

You can believe the vultures are never far away. And now that the church is in a mess with hirelings raping her of her precious commodities and leaving her like a battered Metropolitan Avenue prostitute, they have coming calling with solutions. Can the church heal itself without Christ?

Citing aPew Poll, a Dallas based company is offering a service to fix things. Faced with mounting personal challenges  It says America’s “faith-based community is in search of solace like never before”. What’s more, it said, Christian churches are in “crisis”. True assessment, but where are they looking for solace and what, pray tell, are they looking for?

Church Efficiency wants to capitalize on that religious restlessness with a solution.   The company says applying “simple business savvy that enables a church to be operated like a business and eliminate waste and cutting cost. And that, my friends, will solve all its problems.  From a press release,  we quote:

” The latest census bureau figures show that more Americans are abandoning organized religion.  U.S. government data corroborates the most recent research from denominational offices and the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions to confirm that Americans are less devout now than ever before and mainstream denominations continue to lose membership.

Specifically, the data indicates that two-point-seven million church members fall into inactivity each year. From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the U.S. declined by almost five million members (9.5 percent), while the U.S. population increased by 24 million (11 percent).

The reasons cited include higher stress levels, disillusionment with arcane church teachings, irrelevant marketing, scandals, logistical difficulties (long drive, no parking, etc) and a lack of engaging social activities. However, one of the most pressing needs is simple efficiency. “Most churches today are struggling to do more with less,” says Gateway Church Connect Executive Pastor Ed Funderburk, “and that takes efficiency.” He says that while a select few mega-churches like Gateway attract enormous Sunday crowds, the majority are teetering on the brink of insolvency and making dramatic cutbacks in Sunday services, outreach and clergy.

No parking? Is this for the church celebrity crowd or is it a sign that mega churches are a curse? What the survey doesnt discern is why so many people in the church are shackled with these fhings in the first place. Perhaps the answer is found in Revelation 3:14-18

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

While not specifically criticizing the need for more church efficiency (of course that’s needed), did they really mean  to assert that their company’s services are the answers to divorce, lack of parking spaces, disullusionment with church, scandals and the likes? Perhaps they do.

“It’s a crisis that we can solve,” says Church Efficiency CEO Lisa Mikals, a Dallas-area consultant and non-profit adviser. “I believe that most churches can heal from within with a good assessment, proper pruning and possibly a re-allocation of current staffing.”

“We can often see the land mines right away,” she says. “It’s usually a set of outdated administrative systems, non-existent business and ministry management processes or a stagnant staff. Everybody needs continuing education, new technologies and fresh ideas,” she says. “Unfortunately, churches can be the slowest to modernize.”

“What worked well in the 80s clearly does not work today,” says Mikals, “but we often find that a few simple procedures and technologies can make a turn-around possible. It can save a church.”

That’s quite an oversimplification for such deeply seeded spiritual problems. What do you think? If a church is experiencing such severities (and sins) is the answer updating your technology, re-arranging your staff and new administrative system?

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Church, heal thyself?

  1. People are sick and tired of going to church and (1) being bored to death when they sincerely come to hear about the Lord and His word, (2) hearing insane doctrine, (3) pimp preachers and other nonsense being presented as the gospel of Jesus Christ. I quit attending churches for a time because I refused to waste my time in churches like this. I was better off at home. During that time I realized just how much of what I believed was tied to a preacher I heard. I will never forget the first time I read verses in the Bible and did not have a single though about hearing a preacher teach on that. I believe that more and more people are learning about their relationships with God and are taking more responsibility for them.

    I sincerely believe that your last statements will be a byproduct of a true shift back into Biblical Christianity. I guarantee you that when the body of Christ has the revelation that we can walk like He did in every way you will NOT have problems with people being in our churches. Also people that were put on church staffs because they knew someone or feared exposure of wrongdoing from them will be booted out or will be compelled to leave on their own by the Lord. Blogs like yours and many others is a very small part of how the technologies of the day are being using properly for the gospel. That will increase in the days to come to communicate the wonderful works of the Lord and to teach proper and sound doctrine. Also the tendencies for some pastors to lead as dictators will also change.

    This gal is trying to grow her business of church efficiency. This is why she is so narrowly focused. Her comments make total sense to me. She will not be looking at the spiritual state of the church. I think this should NOT be the beginning but the end. Being in right relationship with God is first.

  2. Problem #1 your holding church service and God is there nor does He desire to show up. Why?

    Acceptance of fornication(any sex outside of marriage) and adultery, abortion, and preaching about nothing but money.

  3. I attended a small church that tried to do something like this. The pastor wanted to use business models to structure the ministers and administrative staff (a secretary) in such a way as to make the church function better. One of the problems was that most of the focus of the meetings with the ministers was about THIS. If the focus of a church is not about the souls of the members and of the citizens of the surrounding community, or even the world for that matter, it doesn’t really matter what kind of operating plans or technology you have. It’s funny that some churches think that to stay relevant, they must modernize their equipment or freshen up the look of the ministry. I agree with Pamela that people are seeing the beginning to see the discrepancies between how many churches function and how God told us to conduct ourselves. The Great Commission is not to go and get better computers and flashier flyers. Again, Pamela, you’re right. I believe with you that God has planned an awakening amongst His people for the love and works of Christ to be displayed and for people to really be CHANGED by God and their souls made new. Better marketing and efficient time and money management will not bring that. Smh.

  4. No Church is perfect. That’s why God’s word says that we are to pray for one another. There will be issues in the Church because you’re dealing with people. Our issues are what satan uses to keep us from fulfilling God’s Great Commission, the spreading of the Gospel. Paul stated that, we must die to ourselves daily. Since the Church is in the states it’s in, we must start praying for the body of Believers. Satan wants us to leave in discuss. Satan uses the desires of the Believer to side track us. Satan knows what will get us to dessert, abandon and neglect our Faith. 1 Peter
    5:8 says that, “Your adversary the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour.” We must know both him
    and ourselves. The fervent prayer of the righteous avails much, James 5:15. Godly love covers a multitude of sin.
    We will have our moments when we are not renewing our minds daily. “Let this mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus.”

  5. The Lord will never allow the principles of the world to comingle with His principles in the Church.

  6. Friends,

    When preaching the Kingdom Parables, the Lord gives us insight into to what the church will and has become. He speaks of a church that will become powerful politically and monetarily, but not spiritually a corrupt church in an unconverted world. Is it any wonder when speaking to the (7) churches in the bk of Revelation only (2) don’t come under condemnation. But praise be to God, He says, He’s coming for a church without spot or wrinkle (a blameless church) and when speaking about the lost pearl, it is He whose looking for that lost pearl, which is the true church.

    Another reason I believe the church is in the state that it is in, I’m reminded, speaking of the (7) churches, when addressing Ephesus, He says, “You have forsaken your first love (speaking of Himself and each other) He says, “go and do the first thing first or I will come quickly.” The church was fonded on “LOVE” that which binds us w/Him and each other, we’ve pushed that to the side, and concentrated on other things, yes that have there place, but cannot and will not function properly without “LOVE” being in the forefront. Again He says to them, and yes commending them, “You have identified the false and have done thus and so”, but those things have become the object of your desire and have become your gods. Another thought provoking post Pastor, thank you.

  7. Thank you for this article. I have quite a number of similar articles. All of which make an excellent point that absolutely must heeded or the consequences will be dire. The wisdom of the secular world is now permeating and dominating the thinking of of a great number of so-called ‘church leaders’. Most churches now have some type of business or marketing plan to grow their church. Human wisdom instead of biblical truth. The Holy Spirit is the one who “grows” the church, not us.

    http://oh4cryingoutloud.blogspot.com/

  8. I applaud this article.

    To you that do not, take heed.

    That’s the same approach most people in the business sectors that attend our churches attempt to apply. Whatever happened to prayer and the ministry of the Word? Whatever happened to “take nothing but one set of clothes, a purse with no money in it, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead?” Oh, I forgot. Jesus is out dated.

    I mean. Come on!

    The ones that complain in church will never show up to pray or witness. The ones that complain the most are the most unspiritual people that claim to know God.

    That’s why sin rests easy in the house of the Lord. That’s why we can comfortably sit at home and watch men dressed as women and laugh all day long (See Deuteronomy 22:5). Oh. I forgot. God changed (see Malachi 3:6).

    Get the sin out. Get back in the place of prayer and the ministry of the Word. Get serious about Matthew 28:18-20 and then talk.

    Until then, those of you that are looking to make God change and His Word of no effect, I strongly suggest you hold your thoughts.

  9. Your statement is powerful.

    And it is true that the Lord is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle.

    May I humbly suggest that we look at verse 26?

    Before the Lord Jesus can present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish”, please take note that a “sanctification and washing of water by the Word” must first take place.

    This is my personal challenge to myself. Did I sanctify the Lord in my heart? Am I washed with water by the Word? Did I please the Lord on the level of Jesus and Enoch, the seventh from Adam?

    Without this sanctification and washing of water by the Word, He cannot come back. Is this a demand for the entire church to be perfect. Hardly the case (please see John 8:32-36, 1 John 2:15-17, and Matthew 25:1-13). We will never be perfect. But we can be sanctified, holy, and washed.

    It’s sounds preachy when you say it that way (He’s coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle) but we need to balance it out with what it takes to get the job done.

    By the way, it coincides with Hebrews 11:5-6.

  10. 2 Timothy 3
    1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
    2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
    4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
    5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.

    2 Timothy 4
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
    4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

    Selah.

  11. Pastor Rochester,

    Thank you for responding to my statement, we both know “sanctification and salvation” are continuous processes we all must realize and endure. Perfection and or complete sanctification/salvation will not come until you and I stand before the “BEMA” seat of Christ being judged for our works. When I mentioned coming for a church without spot or wrinkle, thats indicating as you know, a blameless church not a sinless church, we both know perfection meaning in both the hebrew and greek (at times) means mature/maturing and has nothing to do w/being sinless. I hope mentioning that verse of scripture I didn’t misquote or give the indication that we need to be perfect (in the worldly sense).

Comments are closed.