Is The Church In America Backwards?


I grew up in church. My dad has been a pastor for nearly as long as I can remember. My parents were both very involved in church.  They encouraged me to be involved in church.  I’ve been in church since I was in diapers.  I greatly appreciate my church experience and the friends I’ve made through a life time of “church-centered” relationships.  I don’t think I would change those experiences and relationships for the world.  I love the church!

But I sometimes wonder….

Is the church in America focused on the right thing?

Are we focused on the experience?  Or are we focused on the mission?

We live in a day and a land of religious consumerism.  So called Christ followers wander from church to church trying to find the “right fit” – the place that makes them feel good.  People want to find a church where they fit in.  They want the biggest, coolest church or they want the smallest, most intimate church.  For so many, it’s all about the experience.  “Is my church giving me everything I want?”

I think we so often get it wrong.  As Francis Chan shares in the video clip below, we’re called to be on a mission to make disciples.  We’re called to go out and find the lost and lonely – those far from Christ.  And we’re called to help them become disciples – fully devoted followers of Christ.

Is that really what the church in America is trying to do?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are many churches who are actively trying to live out the Great Commission.  But I have to wonder if we are more often doing more harm than good when we try to Christianize America by shoving our beliefs down others throats instead of showing them the love of Christ in a practical, approachable, and life changing way.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20

I wonder what our country would look like if we really got it – if we really lived like we were on an urgent mission to introduce people to Christ and to help them grow in their faith.  I wonder if Evangelical Christianity would stop getting such a bad reputation.  And I wonder if we would begin to experience the kind of community that we were really intended be.

Just some thoughts.  (This isn’t directed at my church or any church specifically.  It’s just some thoughts that are running through my head – stretching me.)

What do you think?  What is the church in America doing right?  What is something you can do today or this week that follows through on this mission?

For other great articles on the church in America, check out these links: