In my first post this past Friday, I shared lots of statistics about the decline of the modern American Evangelical Church. I admitted that it is tough to start off with that much bad news. (See Recent Posts on the top right of this page for last Friday’s blog.)
1. Please understand what I am not saying. The body of Christ is not doomed. The kingdom of God and of his Christ shall reign forever and ever! I am not saying we should be the voice of doom. A sign in a national tool distributor shows these words super-imposed over photos of all varieties of tools: “The Bad News: Our World is Falling Apart. The Good News: Our World is Falling Apart.” To us who have trouble using a hammer, the knowledge that the world is falling apart is bad news. But to those who earn a living by fixing things, a world falling apart means they will never run out of work.
2. Remember this: Our Almighty God has the power to fix this world. He uses our brokeness to heal, help, and move us to his purposes. The Church is his body, and he is the healer of broken bones. Ezekiel experienced firsthand God’s power to put us back together when the body of believers seemed dead and disjointed. So we need to remind ourselves every day that, though institutional churches are in trouble, God’s church for whom Jesus died will endure into eternity. May we never stop praying for revival in our land.
3. But until revival comes, worship leaders must find the courage to look beyond our job security as stewards of the Church Club and see reality. It requires real courage. It also requires faith in God and in the people of God. Most of all, it requires that we know that God will build his church when we follow his blueprint. Jesus said the people of Jerusalem could not know the way to peace because it was hidden from their eyes. Oftentimes, the people who are most involved in an institution are the last ones to see its decline. We are like homeowners on TV renovation shows. When outsiders tour the home and make negative comments about the design and décor of an older home, the homeowners get quite defensive and angry. The longer we live in one place, the less we truly see what is going on around us. We get blinded by our presuppositions, stuck in deceptive mindsets, held captive by our refusal to see objectively. God must take the dry bones of familiarity and breathe in new life. Only then can we become the vast army he is calling us to be.
Can a worship leader have any impact on reversing the decline in their own church? How? (Or is that someone else’s job?) Click on the small letters that say “Comment” on the top left of this article and join the conversation. MP