Death

death

One of the powerful uses of the social medial platform Twitter, is the ability to share information easily. Recently, someone I am following posted a note referencing an article about the condition of the church. Naturally I went to check it out.

This article is titled; “You’re Growing? Well, She’s Dying.” It speaks of their observation that there may be some mega churches doing well, but unfortunately the church as a whole is not growing and in fact dying. (You can http://tinyurl.com/d4ctco this article here).

This article prompted a few responses in me.
First, there was a confirmation; here was someone else with the same concern as me.
Second, there was sadness; ok there is a problem, so, lets just continue to talk about it.
Thirdly, the urge to put my two cents worth in; so I left a comment. The following is an expanded version of this comment.

The church as we know it (at least in North America) appears to be dying. Recent reports state that Christianity is no longer the “default” religion of the US. There are any number of reasons given that blame society, organizations, pastors and young people. Many of them contain some truth – yet I do not believe they are the cause, they are the symptoms of a greater problem.

In my opinion, this situation has developed because the average church is no longer expressing the Kingdom in a relevant and engaging way to those that are under the age of 35. The breakdown is because much of doing church today is based on man’s traditions*.

Oh yes, some churches are growing because they are able to cater to the “mall” mentality, offering programs that appeal to the selfish interests of the individuals. Yet the vast majority of churches are using the same model of doing church that has been around for centuries. There may be a more contemporary wrapping to it, but still the same structure and format.  I know this may sound harsh, but this is reality.

This lack of connecting with this younger generation was exampled in my life this past week. An individual contacted me and we spent almost 2 hours discussing how they were tired of the “stuff” of church. They were looking for a more authentic or genuine connection with God.

This hunger for an authentic engagement with the Lord has caused many young people (under 35) to plant churches that are very different from the ordinary. Terminology may vary, but they stress three ingredients: community, missions and purpose. All of which entail a less formal structure and are highly interactive. Will this be the ultimate kingdom expression – who knows, but it is a step in the right direction.

When the church returns to it’s purpose – all about revealing the nature and image of Jesus – that is when we will see a growth in the body of Christ.

*The original Greek for tradition means a handing over or selling out. Comes from a word that means to bring into captivity. So – tradition is a handing over of the commandments of God, resulting in the people being taken captive by man’s doctrines. Expressing a weak and anemic church. For more on traditions you can go to http://tinyurl.com/9hygdx. Also read some of the posts after that.
www.martinschmaltz.com

About the author

Martin Schmaltz

Martin�۪s passion is to see the kingdom of God manifested in the lives of each believer. In his 13 years as a pastor, he has experienced the transformation from traditional Christianity to kingdom illumination. During this time, he has seen the Jesus manifest his power and presence is mighty ways. Today, he is challenging the traditional paradigm of church, enlightening the body of believers to the potential that lies within them. www.martinschmaltz.com www.twitter.com/martinschmaltz