Even the casual observer agrees that many churches aren’t growing. The church no longer has political influence. Every month more church buildings become boarded up buildings. The typical church is winning and baptizing fewer people, failing to meet budgets, and tolerating the religious illiteracy of its members.
The decline of the Church is traceable to internal and external factors, some beyond our control. I see two major disturbing trends. First, the lack of a major push to reach out to the 80 percent of the church membership that is, for lack of a better word, false Christians. Second, the apparent spiritual immaturity of many of the members on church rolls.
Some year ago, I heard Dr. Tommy Green, now the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Convention, deliver a wake-up sermon titled, “Once the Church was the Voice, Then, the Church Became a Voice, Now, It has no Voice.” Dr. Green prefaced his sermon by saying he never expected to preach this sermon. I never expected to hear preaching like that. His thoughts sum up the plight of the church.
I don’t know whether the following numbers are spot on or informed guesses. Maybe we have to look closer at the people who have their names on a church roll and believe they have experienced salvation. But, in reality, they only had a mental salvation encounter but not a heart conversion. They are convinced but not convicted of their sin. They are wolves in sheep clothing. (continued, May 30th).