Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Political Challenges for the Church: Introduction

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 11, 2009

The church today is going to quickly find themselves in a new world.

Fifty years ago, the church mattered.  Society actually listened to what came from churches.  There was a fear of God (albeit not very grand), but it was evidenced in the way society looked at the church.

Pastors were respected in society.  In fact, I remember only 30 years ago pastors getting free rounds of golf on golf courses so that they could use the opportunity to minister to people they invited.  It was good for golf courses and good for the poorly paid pastor.

People even considered what they said in front of pastors.  They would instinctively ask forgiveness when they’d swear in a pastor’s presence. There was a respect even from people that weren’t believers.

The influence of the church began a downward trend about 40 years ago when the Bible was taken out of schools.  The church, which up to the fifties, was a huge help to society through homeless shelters, pantries, medical, and other social needs as well as a spiritual help to people, began to lose sight of it’s social ministry in lieu of the easier spiritual ministry.  The spiritual arena is what mattered, and they left the newly created “New Deal” of the Roosevelt administration to meet the physical needs of society.

While there are smatterings of social ministries through local churches, most focus exclusively on spiritual ministry.  While there is nothing wrong with that at all, they should not have neglected the social while building the spiritual.

Today, many churches make no physical impact to society.  In fact, if they wanted to they couldn’t do it because they have adopted worldly manners of building businesses to build the local church.

The local church began taking on debt… huge debt. I know of small churches with a 100 people and a half-million dollar loan for a building.  When you have a huge monthy building payment (mostly interest), how are you supposed to meet needs of people when you only have a few hundred dollars a month to left over play with.  We have for quite a long time not been the picture of efficiency with our financial resources as we should be. We fork over huge amounts of money into things that will burn up and very little in people, they only thing we can take with us.

Very few churches live fiscally by the principles they try to teach their people.  Actually, come to think of it, very few churches actually teach people the Godly principles of managing money. 

I remember going to Bible college for 5 years without one class, one teaching, one Bible study on how to scriptually manage money. I heard over a thousand sermons in college. Bible college was about spiritual things. Those other matters would take care of themselves if you just got right spiritually.  It took me almost twenty years to discover that the way I was managing my money was not Biblical at all and that I was not honoring God with my money. Yes, I gave, but giving and managing are two different things.

We have also let society govern the way we do ministry.  I remember 20 years ago that no public school would dream of having any sports on a Wednesday night because that was when churches had mid-week services.

Fifteen years ago, they wouldn’t dream of having events on a Sunday at all; now they have meetings and banquets on Sunday evening.  Ten years ago they wouldn’t dream of having sports on Sunday morning, but I know now of soccer, baseball and softball leagues that meet at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.  People in the churches joined these leagues and thus began missing more and more services. It crept up on us as a church and took us by surprise.  Now we wonder why we can’t get people to come out consistently.

Today, most churches have gone to one service per week – maybe two.  People have managed their lives in the way the world dictated and they struggle to find enough free time to eat dinner at home let alone go to church on Sunday.

The scripturalprinciple of rest is gone from the vocabulary so much so that pe0ple don’t go to our Sunday morning services because it is the one day they don’t have to get up at 5 or 6 a.m. to do something.

These things I have written about in this blog have been on the increase lately.  They are coming faster and more furious.  God is not even on the top ten list of important things for Americans to be concerned about.

We have gone from a nation under God to a un-godly nation. We have states left and right passing ungodly and immoral laws under the guise of “tolerance”. What little the church says about it is usually shot down by the world with the ammo of “intolerance”.  We have become anemic in our societal impact, and when we have no impact on society, society will see no need for what we stand for and for the God we serve.

We are coming to a crossroads.  We are going to have to make some critical decisions and choices that will transform the way we do things.  We are going to have to step outside of our walls and walk the streets as Jesus did and become relevant to our society. 

They need to see the miracles God promised.  They need to see the hope in our eyes.  They need to feel the touch of God’s concern through the hands of His people.  We need to get the train back on track with the proper balance of the Spiritual and the Social. This will be the call of the last days church.


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