Mike Breen, in an article here, describes the slow death of the American church if it continues to give in to these three enemies:
The article quotes Martin Luther King, Jr., who said:
If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.
Indeed, the church must come out of denial and face those things, and those enemies, that keep us from being authentic followers of Jesus or face the ongoing decline into irrelevance and impotence.
But, when I read an article like this, I am tempted to only look outward at how others and other institutions have been infected by these enemies. And that misses the point. I share the same culture as the American church, and these same attitudes lurk, often hidden, in my own heart. Real change, the kind that renews and revives the community of His followers and keeps us from being just another social club, begins at the deepest level of my own personal heart repentance.
Therefore, I challenge myself…
Where is my ambition crowding out the simple service of His kingdom?
Where am I seeking people’s admiration more than the satisfaction of God’s approval and love?
Where am I setting myself apart from others, and magnifying differences, in order to feel better than them rather than having a heart cry for every person and ‘tribe’ to simply know God more deeply?
It’s not enough to be ‘against’ the enemies. I want to be ‘for’ change that starts with myself.
Read Mike’s article here.