Ed Stetzer is a prophet! He has researched the life (and death) of local churches of all “stripes” and tribes for years. This weekend, he published an editorial that, if it wasn’t so filled with indisputable facts, would be seen as lunacy in the scope of its analysis. Some might call him a prophet of doom…I’d rather simply call it as I would most of Biblical prophecy – he is reading the signs of the times. Here’s the link – read it yourself.
Here’s a shocking taste: “Christians recently celebrated Easter, a Sunday where many churches are robust and full. But, if current trends continue, mainline Protestantism has about 23 Easters left.”
Yes, you read that right…23 years left for some of the stalwarts of denominational Christianity in America. For most, this will be a call to prayer. For others, it will be a challenge to rethink old paradigms and challenge assumptions. Frankly, if it wasn’t for the fact that Churches are good at prayer and NOT acting, I would be hopeful. But it is way past time for simply gathering together for prayer and beseeching God for intervention…it is a time for a TRUE intervention, the truth needs to be told…we need to be rethinking of our attachment to “insanity” (doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results) and then move to creative action and a re-embracing of mission and disciple-making. It is way past time for the Church to be the dispenser of religious goods and services…now it is time for Spirit to invade the Church and breathe a fresh and new life upon God’s people. There are no simple answers – we can’t return to the glory days of old nor can we purely adopt better marketing practices in order to gain a crowd. Rather, disciples of Jesus, followers of Christ in community need to be re-examining our purpose in fulfilling the call of Jesus. Truthfully, the Church would NOT move (institutions rarely do) unless they were faced with this tragic reality. Head in the sand? No longer! Time to wake up!