Numerous issues make headline news for the Church: Churches are closing, gay marriage, refugees, the role of women, and the next political candidate. Over the last two weeks I have read several articles on all of these issues. Writers make each of these issues seem like they are the biggest threat to the Church.
Honestly, I am not fighting any of these battles in my small town Church. My concerns are different from those making the national spotlight.
I am concerned about …
1. The Lack of Committed Volunteers. Many of us grew up in a Church with people like Virginia. Virginia was a saintly yet firm older woman who taught Sunday school to 5th and 6th graders at my Church for 40 plus years. Almost everyone my age and older can remember that man or lady who never missed Church and served thanklessly for years. Everyone knew grandma so and so as the most Godly person in their Church. She was a role model that everyone both admired and respected.
The hard truth is I see almost no one who is like that today. Very few people teach for longer than their own children are in that age group. If someone serves more than five or ten years at one position then they quickly describe themselves as “burned out.” I am concerned about what the lack of committed volunteers is doing to the next generation.
2. The Lack of Strong Men to Lead. If you were to look around the Church where I serve you would find a lot of men. But ask one of them to step up and lead and their attitude is clear. “Oh, not me.” Its seems most men are afraid to take a stand and do something for the Lord. I think there are a lot of reasons for this that I will save for a later blog. I can just say that I think most men are scared. Where are the men who will serve in spite of their fears because this is the Lord’s work? My biggest concern is that in time the Church will run out of men who are strong in their faith. Where are the strong Godly men that are willing to lead the Church?
3. The Lack of Church as a Priority. Let me ask you, “If this Sunday morning you had a choice between a family gathering, a team game, some other social activity or Church. Which would you choose?” For most people the Church is reserved for the days they do not have any other activity. The odd dynamic it is creating is that the Church has more people than ever before. Attendance might even be increasing. But many of those families are only coming once a month. Each week is a different collection of people who are not busy that particular week and decide to show up. The end result is community is lost and Christian relationships are shallow.
Honestly, I could care less about attendance numbers. I really mean that. It is great to see an increase because that means more people, but if those people are not getting connected to other believers and not being discipled, then the end result is failure. I am concerned that most people are not experiencing Church as God has designed it.
These are some of the biggest issues that concern me. Sadly, I do not read many, if any, articles that are addressing these issues. So I am throwing my words out into the world. I hope it will lead other people to think and possibly start a dialog about the changes the Church needs to make to address these issues.