Top 10 Reasons Why the Church Fails People
Why The Church Fails
I've thought about this many an occasion and discussed it with fellow Christians as well as the Lord. Not to gossip or hurt anyone but because I love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I love those who don't know the Lord. And I want to do more for them, but I want to do so with action, not mere words and platitudes. It's almost impossible to do it in many churches these days.
My husband, James and I have had many discussions on this subject. He's as troubled as I am. Maybe you are too? Again, why is our American Christian Church failing people?
Here are our top TEN reasons we've prayerfully discovered along our journey as Christians with the Church.
1. The Church PC Movement
Let's face it, we as Christians are more worried about our peers' thoughts and opinions than we are about God's Word. The biggest reason for failure as a Christian, alone or in the Church is fear to tell people about an eternal life with Jesus . . . or the alternative. People don't want to hear they're going to spend eternity in torment. And Lord knows, we don't want to offend anyone! The politically correct movement has corrupted the church.
2. Family, Nation and God
Most churchgoers love their family, they're patriotic, and they love God, usually in that order. Now God doesn't say love's a bad thing. And the Church doesn't say you can't love your family more than God, but in this instance, God does. He also says if we love them, we'll share the Gospel with them. I've never had any family member share the gospel with me, have you? Of course, I grew up in the Church but my husband didn't, and nobody in his family shared the Gospel with him.
3. The Red Tape Noose
Membership, service, you name it, red tape within the Church is everywhere and is paralyzing. What do I mean about red tape? Well, think about it. Have you tried to become a member of your local church lately? On average, it takes 6-9 months to get someone on the books. Forget serving in a group or on a committee until that happens. It's sad. As for us, we've given up trying to become church members.
4. The Church Popularity Contest
If you're like me and like to watch people, you'll see the popularity contests and cliques that are ingrained in every social structure including Church. It starts the second people walk in on Sunday morning. The good-looking couple is the first to be welcomed in the door or on the sanctuary floor. They're the first to be invited to social functions or asked to serve in the youth group. It's so reminiscent of high school, it's pathetic. Old habits die hard, I guess. The social ladder is still hard to climb whether you're challenged due to your economic status, color, or creed. However, the Church is the last place this behavior should be accepted. Look around for yourself on Sunday morning. You'll find it happens more than you might expect or possibly would admit, and it hurts . . . everyone . . . including God.
5. Hypocrisy, the Cornerstone
The average Christian will be the first to say we are living in the last days but do we live that way? No. In reality, we live the exact opposite, exactly against our beliefs. Instead of living as if Christ is coming back at any time and taking us home (what a joyful thought!) or leaving our lost loved ones behind to suffer through the worst times on this planet (what an agonizing nightmare!), we go through life worried about...what people are wearing? Wow. The resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity, not who's donning ratty jeans this Sunday. Oh, and by the way? Time's running out.
6. The Judgmental Bride of Christ
Christians are judgmental. Yes, I know, we are to help our brothers and sisters-in-Christ in a loving and non-hypocritical way. Go to church, be nice to everybody, etc. But believe it or not, I'm protecting others by not going to Easter services. I know when to stay away. I'm horrible when it comes to greeting others that only show up once a year to services. Here is an example of what I may ask, "Are you an annual member of the church?" Yes, I'm the worst and I know it. What I would mean by the above question is, "Why bother coming to church at all if you only come until school's out for the summer?" Like I said, I'm the worst. Are you a judgmental Christian? Do you know it?
7. The Lost Commission
The average Christian can't evangelize through their church. It's not a matter of desire, they can't. Their church home doesn't have a visitation program. In fact, the last three churches we've attended, not one of them has had any evangelism programs. This is how their "visitation" was set up.
You fill out the little visitation card. You leave your email address and phone number. A week or so week later, the pastor calls or emails saying, "I'm glad you came to church. Please let me know if you have any questions, I'd be glad to answer any of them." Sound familiar at all?
Technology is killing the Church and its visitation programs. There's nothing like a hand shake and an eye to eye friendly visit. It shows that the person is valuable. They are cared about and worth you leaving your home or office. The commandment was to preach the Gospel and make disciples of all the nations. And the Church is losing at the Great Commission.
8. High Gospel Illiteracy Rate
What does illiteracy mean anyway? According to Merriam-Webster, it's the following: the state of not knowing how to read or write, the state of not having knowledge about a particular subject, or a mistake that is made in the use of language, an illiterate statement or expression. The Church is rapidly becoming, if it's not already, illiterate when it comes to the Gospel. If you ask members of any church in the United States "what is the Gospel," you'll be met with a blank stare or a stumbling answer. If you're having trouble even now, I'll give you the correct response in my conclusion.
9. The Power of Money
I'm aware there's going to be push back on this one, but oh, well. Many members fear they're required to give a 10% tithe to the Church every month or week, any time they receive income of any kind. I'm here to tell you, that's not true. God doesn't need your money. He wants your heart. God loves a cheerful giver. In other words, we are to give because we want to, not because we HAVE to. We can give it all or we can give a little. If tithing is a chore . . . a duty, or ritual, it has no meaning other than fulfilling grueling expectation. But if we give to the Lord with a joyful, cheerful heart, in honor of His glorious Name, we are at peace with God about our contributions to the Church. ON THE FLIPSIDE, if the Church expects contributions out of rote and rule... well... the Power of God is much more than the Power of Money.
10. Techno-Blinded Youth Wipe-out
This generation of youth may be the hardest group to reach than any generation yet. In fact, many say they're not worth the struggle, but is that true? It's true that they're obsessed with technology and games, and they're self-absorbed. That's not deniable. But if we don't give the Church's kids real-time information they need to stand up to the militant atheists they'll face on a daily basis on the Internet or at school, we may as well abandon them to the wolves. And watch them abandon the Lord. They will walk away from the faith. As it is right now, the majority of our youth can't even give their testimony in a manner that the Gospel is conveyed. Why? The Church hasn't prepared them. We don't disciple, teach, or show them the evidence by which to defend their faith in an antagonistic world much less talk about it. We may as well tell them we don't care what they do, discard them like chaff, and wipe them from the rolls.
In conclusion, please know I'm not perfect. I'm guilty of several of these reasons. But the day that the Lord gives you a "job well done" by having your own child lead someone to Him, I can honestly say your perspective changes. No matter what happens from this day forward, I take great comfort in the fact that for all my shortcomings and failures, I know with all my heart that the Lord holds my son in the palm of His hand. He knows the Gospel and hasn't forsaken the Great Commission.
What is the Gospel? The Gospel is the "Good News." It's the message that Jesus came to this earth to die a death that we deserve, that he was raised on the third day, and ascended to heaven to be with the Father. That any who are willing to confess that Jesus is the Son of God and repent of their sin have the right to become the child of God. If we say these words with our mouth, believe them in our heart, God's faithful to forgive us of our sins and save us from eternal suffering!
That's it, that's my (our) ten reasons. You may have other reasons, that's fine! Make your own list, but be honest with yourself and God. Share it with your friends and loved ones. Be accountable for what you believe and what you do (and don't do)! It's worth it because in the end, we all will be.