Why Your Church Isn’t Taken Seriously

Hello friend,

Please forgive this departure from the hope-inspiring content you normally find on Average Us. I care about the Church, God’s Church, your church. But our churches have a problem, and I wonder what we can do about it…


Your church is irrelevant.

Though you may love it, with few exceptions, your community no longer needs your church to fill any significant cultural, social, educational or charitable role. Those days are long over.

Two churches side by side

If your church closed up today, who would care other than the members? What negative impact would befall your city? Think about that for a while and see if it reflects reality where you live and worship.

❯ BAD TO WORSE

That sounds pretty bad, right? But, here’s something I think is even worse:

Your church has a credibility problem, too.

Why?—because the people who drive by your church also see another church right across the street, and another down the road, and another across town, and one in a big building, and one in old gas station, and another on TV.

And the people who see all these churches know this about you and your church:

You don’t know anyone in the other churches. You have different “religions” and who’s to say who’s right? And the only important difference between the big building church and the gas station church is the personal charisma of the preacher and the amount of money he or she can raise. Whatever goes on behind those doors on Sunday is irrelevant, and whatever they have to say to the community lacks credibility because they all say something different.

❯ MEA CULPA

All of this is true of me and my church, too. In fact, whenever I drive to church my stomach turns a little because there is literally another church directly across the street. But, I’m pretty sure both congregations believe in one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. (See Ephesians 4:4-6.)

I can’t be the only Christian this bothers…

It makes me sad and ashamed. I don’t know what to do about it except to see if others agree that this is simply unacceptable. But the ultimate relevance and credibility of the gospel of Jesus demands that we not be content to allow our churches to become irrelevant and incredible.

But, what can we do?

❯ AN IMPOSSIBLE SOLUTION

How about we close half of our churches?

There are only three legitimate reasons to separate one congregation from another: geographic distance, population density and language difference. Every other reason is caused by our sinfulness, and is cause for repentance.

Let’s give half the buildings and lands away. Let’s shrink our financial obligations. Let’s combine our congregations and denominations. Let’s erase some philosophical barriers and tear down some walls. Let’s abandon whatever traditions and doctrines deserve to be abandoned. Let’s combine our efforts to serve in Jesus’ name, and to teach Jesus’ gospel where it isn’t heard.

Impossible. I know.

But then, what?

I don’t have a better answer. Do you?

What could make our churches more relevant and credible?

❯ PREVIOUS POSTS ON CHURCH DISUNITY

Sometimes I Wish I Could Be Catholic

Can We All Be Catholic (Universal) Again?


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10 thoughts on “Why Your Church Isn’t Taken Seriously

  1. Given the current cultural free fall we are experiencing, we may be surprised to see what God has in store. I believe one thing is for certain, and that is that the true body of Christ will become more and more apparent as the US slouches further towards Gomorrah (to borrow the late Robert Bork’s phrase; or was it Pat Moynihan?). We will need to deal with issues and people in a more Gospel-friendly way which means we will have to cut one another a lot more slack over “negotiables” and stand true and firm where it really counts. The challenge is getting hundreds of denominations and thousands of “non-denominations” to agree on each. It will take God – that’s a good place to be.

  2. BTW to clarify, I would not consider calling evil good and good evil “negotiable” as the church is being pressured to do regarding marriage and other sexuality issues. We need to graciously stand firm against sin, lavishly love those who have sinned while calling us ALL to repentance, and again cutting each other slack on lesser things. The hotter things get, the more obvious “lesser things” will become.

  3. What if churches did empty out, and believers who love the word of God started meeting together, having an orderly conversation as described in 1 Cor 14? I think many doctrinal issues would get ironed out as the Spirit moves and unity builds. Many divisions start right at the “top” of assemblies because Christ is not the head- it’s a man or group of men who have consolidated power and have limited all teaching to their particular views. The main reason your suggestion wouldn’t work is the pride of those who would not want to give up their power and position to consolidate, and those deceived enough to not see that their beloved leaders are a problem in many instances. Participation with God’s word can get us back on track and put life back into the church. John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

    • Agreed with the cause of division. So many churches are built on a doctrinal “distinctive” which is so minor a point that it’s no reason to divide from other bodies. Somehow, it must be possible to establish a list of things we must agree on, and agree to disagree (while keeping in fellowship) on the rest.

  4. Throw out your Calvinism. I’ll throw out my Arminianism. And we’ll all simply believe John 6; that Jesus is the bread of life who came down out of heaven to give life to the world-all those who will believe in, receive, and follow Him.
    He initiates! We respond! Agreed?

    • Agreed , but we shouldn’t have to throw it out. We should be able to fellowship and worship and evangelize together regardless.

  5. As long as sin is in the world, churches will be imperfect. God’s Word should be our common bond and guideline for everything we do. To find, learn and practice God’s Word takes commitment, something that is seriously lacking in our society today. To draw near to God, we need to draw near to Him. We need people to commit to reading God’s Word every day, to hunger and thirst after Him. If you aren’t chewing on the Word every day, your Spirit will not be renewed and refreshed. You can’t know God’s heart and will if you aren’t reading your Bible. You can’t grow spiritually if you are not reading God’s Word each and every day. It is so necessary each day to spend time with God, Jesus is our example of that- praying and spending time talking with His Father daily, so that everything he said and did was of the Father. It takes work and time spent in God’s Word and prayer to exhibit the gifts of the Spirit and enjoy His wonderful peace that passes all understanding, to Trust in Him and allow our faith in Him to grow. Then to ultimately make a difference in our homes, our families, our churches, work, etc. It is not so much a church problem as it is a spiritual deficit problem. You will never regret spending time with God in reading and prayer.

  6. Pingback: 12 Trends Shaping Tomorrow’s Church (for the Worse) « Average Us

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