In Jon Meacham’s cover story for Newsweek, “The Decline and Fall of Christian America,” he writes these compelling words: “The Christian God is not dead, but he is less of a force in American politics and culture than at any other time in recent memory.”
The American Church will be anemic as long its people are apathetic. Tipping instead of tithing, spectating instead of serving, complacent instead of committing. We are now on the cover of national magazines for our growing irrelevance.
Depressed yet? It doesn’t have to stay that way!
The prescription for change is still the same:
“Fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
How do you wake up your church? How do you help people to get their fire back? Turning your audience into an army happens when people understand three things.
1. Everything is not impossible. Jesus said, “With God all things are possible.” It is too easy to be ruled by what can’t be done. What we can’t afford. What we are afraid we’ll be criticized for… there is always a reason why not. There is no chapter in the Bible where God calls anyone to something easy.
2. You have one life—use it to make something great happen. All of us have people in our churches who, if they ever got more excited about what they were making happen than they are about their next purchase, the world would be a different place.
3. There are no self-centered, happy people. Serving is the only way to avoid becoming an old, cranky, boring Christian adult. At Bayside, once each year we shut our church down. No weekend services. We send everyone to serve our community for the entire weekend. The next week’s services explode with a joy that is never there the weekend before. Why? Passion and purpose go together. The only truly happy people are those living for something more important than themselves. When was the last time you met a self-centered, happy person?
The American Church is a sleeping giant that, if it ever wakes up, could once again shake the world.