Go Therefore

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Siloam, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. We go to church, or worship in our homes, and this is good.

    We conduct ourselves as He commands, sort of.

    Is the body of Christ growing in numbers?

    Are we, as a community, as involved in evangelism as the body of believers was 50, 100, 150 years ago?

    I see a lot happening within churches, and some organized outreach, but individual evangelism seems to me to be lacking..

    I have been surveying some of the less familiar (at least to me) books of the Bible, and came across Haggi..

    Chapter 1 talks about the temple being in disrepair, while the people of God simply go about their daily business, attending their daily cares:


    [2] “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”’”

    [3] Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “

    [4] Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”

    [5] Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!

    [6] You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”


    Now this passage specifically relates to the temple. But it also relates to winning new believers, building the body of Christ.


    I am reminded of Matthew 9:36-38

    [36] Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

    [37] Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

    [38] Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”


    The Lord and His kingdom should be on our lips as we go through the world, as well as in church.
    This doesn't have to be the button-holing wearing Christ on our sleeve, but those around us should be encouraged by example and exhortation to commit to the Lord.

    This is not something for the future, when all our other cares have been solved.
    The time is always now.
     
    Truthfrees likes this.
  2. #2 Major, Jun 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
    You bring up a really good observation. According to the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development,
    statistics tell us that nearly 50% of Americans have no church home. In the 1980s, membership in the church had dropped almost 10%; then, in the 1990s, it worsened by another 12% drop-some denominations reporting a 40% drop in their membership. And now, over half way through the first decade of the 21st century, we are seeing the figures drop even more!

    From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the USA declined by almost 5 million members (9.5 percent), while the US population increased by 24 million (11 percent).

    Records from Church denominational offices show that every year more than 4000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1000 new church starts!

    Why is this taking place is always the pressing question.

    Without a doubt, the "so called" Evangelists who are seen living lavish lifestyles while preaching a message that does not conform to how the average person lives or one based on biblical precepts have disillusioned many people but there is more to it than just that.

    It seems to me that the root lies at the feet of churches that water down the message to attract more people. The thinking is that we do not want to offend anyone so lets be "Positive Motivational Speakers" instead of preachers of the Word of God. When the message of God is changed to "Sermonettes" you will create a generation of "Christianites" so that it becomes a "feel Good" message instead of a message that convicts the sinner of sin.

    They neuter the power and purpose of the Church to which Christ called us. When discipleship and instruction are ignored, He is ignored! We are seeing that Evangelicals are losing their way by moving away from His Way, as the building of people to serve and be involved in the church becomes more and more absent as well as real Christian involvement with the community
     
    sandpiper likes this.
  3. Many believe or continue to believe in a form of Christianity..but are not responding to the call to "follow Him." and especially not responding within the context of Christian community. There is prevalent an individualistic form of belief going on now which is promoted in the name of freedom. It is a sort of personal spirituality without commitment..part of "New Age" thinking and part of the mind set which says, "We don't need church. We believe in God. That is enough." Not biblical based but individually based. And there are growing numbers of agnostics and atheists as well. Unfortunately parents and schools can be providing an atmosphere which promotes this individualistic mind-set.

    But, I agree that it is also true that churches fold because they are drawing people to something that tickles their ears or fits the current popular culture rather than the patterns in the bible. This is all done in the name of love and usually with good intentions; but the truth is that it isn't really all that loving. Concern for souls and for their salvation is Love. Promoting the truth of God's Word is Love. Worshiping with others is a response to God and what He asks us to do over and over again.

    Like in Haggai (as mentioned) the church needs rebuilding and renewing.

    Not to think of numbers only but to praise God that some churches really are doing it and really are reaching out to many all in the context of biblical based Christian community. I go to one. And I am blessed!
     
    Major likes this.
  4. One of the largest parts of the population that is glaringly missing from churches today are young people. I speak of those in their teens to twenties. It is a huge gap, and I know that at our church we are trying very hard to address this issue and find ways to bring this vulnerable part of the population back into church. One thing that young people appreciate, just like everyone else, is authenticity. I think that many of them have fallen prey to seeing less than authentic television ministries, and have thus stereotyped many if not all churches into this category.

    We are trying to find ways to show this generation that a relationship with Christ is the most important relationship they will ever enter into. The only way is to start a dialogue that is authentic and from the heart, and it means having the opportunity to share our personal testimony and speak of how the Lord works within our lives every day. Getting to that place where a face to face dialogue is possible is the problem part. We always need to lead by example, but if you have zero access to people of this age group how can you possibly minister to them. It would be wonderful to be able to have a one day seminar on what it means to be a Christian to introduce seekers of this age group to Christ, but again, how? You certainly are not allowed to advertise in school flyers - that's out.

    The one group that is having the MOST success in bringing young people to Christ's message are musicians. They are doing what no one else can. Christian hip-hop and rap artists are immensely popular at Christian youth conferences. The only idea that I can come up with that might work is that if a Christian youth is attending a youth conference is encouraged to bring one other friend with them who has no firm faith, then new young people can be exposed to the Word that normally wouldn't be. Perhaps this is how exposure can take place in an appropriate manner. The more I ponder this problem, the more I believe that it is young Christians themselves who hold the key to bringing new young people into the church. It just goes to show how important every single person in the body of Christ's church is.
     
  5. Agreeing with all especially "I believe that it is young Christians themselves who hold the key to bringing new young people into the church." It is how 63 years ago that through the example of my teenage friends and their parents I came to Christ.
     
    From Pieces To Peace likes this.
  6. it seems the Lord is speaking to you

    what kinds of things do you hear from the Lord on what to do specifically about this

    for myself i love going out on the street handing out tracts AFTER i prayed over the area and the tracts, asking God to lead me to the right people and the right people to me.

    it's the most awesome experience

    it was difficult getting over the fear and lack of knowledge on how to talk to people about Jesus, but i find the simpler and the shorter the better.

    the Gospel is the power of God to the salvation of men - so a short clear 3 minute Gospel message will grab their heart, and the pre-prayer will be answered.

    after sharing the Gospel i like to ask: is there anything stopping you from asking Jesus into your heart right now?

    if they say yes, i ask what is it?

    i deal with every block/hindrance they present

    when they finally say there is nothing stopping them from asking Jesus into their heart i ask them if we can pray a prayer together and i lead them in a salvation prayer

    if they say they just aren't ready right now to pray, i show them the prayer in the tract and tell them that when ever they are ready, all they need to do is pray and Jesus will answer

    God bless you in what the Lord is leading you to do about this passionate concern you have
     
    Cturtle and From Pieces To Peace say Amen and like this.

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