Thursday, May 1, 2008

The American Church in Crisis

What can we do about this - together?

David Olson's presentation today convinced us that the situation is urgent in the American Church. I am primarily struck by our need to learn how to minister in a new world (post-Christian, post-modern and multi-ethnic), but just as challenging seems to be telling the message and mission of Jesus in a way that people actually get to know who Jesus is - rather than everyone talking about him as if everyone already knows who he is when in fact many have never met him.

We don't need any more programs to fill our busy schedules, but when the situation is urgent we don't have the luxury of not helping each other out. My question to any of you who attended is, How could GMAE help pastors help each other?

A couple areas of focus have already emerged-what do you think?
  1. Church planting - together with denominational church planting leaders lets offer two to three resource and equipping consultations that will accelerate new church planting and network current efforts with each other.
  2. Established churches & Community Development - It is suggested that we need to learn how to be "externally focused" so that we get to know our communities again, and learn how to share both the message (the good news) and the mission (the good deeds) of Jesus. There are business leaders who may be willing to support a pilot collaborative of churches-working-with-churches to meet the needs of their community.
  3. Multi cultural & multi racial churches: GMAE is sponsoring a pastors leadership conference on October 17 to provide resources for this issue. Efrem Smith, Jin S. Kim and Darrell Geddes are participating, and Michael Emerson and Cheryl Sanders will be keynote speakers.
  4. Prayer - Already there are prayer network leaders fanning the flames of revival; I suggest that we still need to find ways to connect their networks to church leaders and people in the pews.

Please add your comments and give me your ideas.