What’s Keeping Churches from Growing? – Part 3
Today’s modern society has a problem. That problem is crowd control. We have decided that in order to maintain an orderly and painless society, we must box every individual into a category. If you are Latino, you’re automatically a Catholic that votes Democrat. A white farmer…probably a somewhat intolerant super right-wing gun lover. A Nigerian means your an uneducated drug dealer who might shoot me if given the chance. You might think this sounds harsh, but go online and prove me wrong; 80% of the time, the tolerant perceptions we are portraying turns more racist then that which we are trying to combat. So, what does this have to with the church?
First off, the beauty of all democratic constitutions is a statement that we are all created equal, possibly, even more importantly, it is a phrase regarding every person as individuals. An individual can fit into a role only she or he can fill. An individual can be friends with many different types of people. An individual knows when to laugh, cry or get angry.
And ONLY an individual can come to Jesus and accept his forgiveness and love. But what happens at church, when we keep trying to bring dozens, hundreds or thousands to Jesus all at once, baptize them during or after a service like a bureaucratic stamp factory then put them through the same classes, volunteerism and so on? For years we have used what Jesus warned about with the parable of the sower and seeds being choked, as an excuse for “losing” people. However, we are not talking about new seeds, are we? We are talking about those who have made the decision to follow Christ. They should be committed to and know Jesus personally, bearing fruit.
So, again I ask you, why do so many of those thousands that we baptize fall through the cracks?
For the past seven years, I have worked with many newly baptized individuals. They were baptized by someone, they gave that church their financial support and even volunteered their time. However, I became the only one who took the time to get to know them. I was the one that earned their trust enough to hear about family abuse, being raped, suicidal thoughts, pornographic addiction, drug addictions and alcoholism…and more!
You see, an individual person has individual problems. And to help serve and love an individual with individual problems, help can only come from another individual.
I would like to make a prediction. Again, I may be wrong, but I have a gut feeling about this, so tell me what you think.
The next great Spiritual Awakening to take place will be impossible to track back to any one source. It will be lead by millions of individuals taking responsibility for the growth of the brothers and sisters closest to them. Millions of individuals who will stand before God, and drop ten overflowing bags of gold at the foot of His throne to hear those amazing words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”