Open Letter to the Christian Church

Dear Christian Churches,

I’ve kind of had it with you.

For years I’ve sat and watched how your priority has been yourself. The vast majority of your money is spent on your buildings, your personnel, and your programs established for your people. During church council meetings your leadership focuses on building repair, how to get and keep people interested in the service, and budgets so that you can continue doing what you are doing. Your so-called outreach are events look just like any thrown by the local Lions Club with little to no follow-up and barely any mention of the church’s true mission lest you offend someone.

And you wonder why your attendance is down, you can’t draw young families, and given the current trajectory most mainline churches of 150 or fewer people will die within the next 20 years as its aging population passes away.

A quick read of the Book of Revelation clearly reveals the problem. The Christian church has become the church at Laodicea. Here’s what God says about this church in Revelation 3:14-16:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Church – you have one job and simply put you’re not doing it.

Jesus told you clearly that your job is to go out into the world and make disciples. This does not mean hold discipleship classes in your church for your congregation! It means go out into the world – into your very community – and find those who don’t know Jesus and tell them about Him. That is your job and you’re failing miserably because you’ve become convinced that your job is to run the building and pacify the 99 sheep inside instead.

Honestly, I am outraged that the church doesn’t care about the lost and is more concerned about when the coffee and cookies are served or repairing a warped floor than they are their own neighbors spending an eternity in hell.

There are two points I want to make that deserve your consideration.

First, Jesus did indeed spend time in the Temple and in synagogues -church. But it was when he went out into the towns and countryside that 10,000 people showed up. Don’t you get it? If you want to bring people to Jesus you must go to where they are; meet them in their daily struggle; build relationship with them and love them as Jesus loves them; and then just maybe they might be interested in coming to your church. If you stay in nice comfy churches focused on yourselves and your precious buildings the people who need Jesus will never hear of Him.

And that brings me to my second point. What are you going to tell Jesus when you meet Him and He asks why you didn’t share Him with the lost? “Sorry, Jesus, we couldn’t spend our resources on evangelism because the church kitchen needed a new floor and dishwasher.” Jesus is very clear that you have a responsibility to tell people about Him and that if you are ashamed of His name He will be ashamed of yours. You’re going to be held responsible, church, for people going to hell who could have been saved if you had prioritized evangelizing your community instead of paving your parking lot.

I recently was ranting at my pastor and asked him how many people were saved given the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’ve recently spent on our building. It was a rhetorical question; the answer is obviously zero.

And that is the problem, church. You no longer are in the business of saving souls, you’re in the business of running the business and you’ve lost your way.

Jesus’ one command for you was to go out and He modeled it for you when He sent the 72 disciples out two-by-two into the towns. He didn’t tell the disciples to go to the synagogues and become members. He told them to go to the towns and tell the people the Good News! This is the “What” we’re supposed to be doing. Everything else is the “How” we’re supposed to do it (love one another; do not judge; forgive one another; show mercy and grace; be gentle; be humble, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love your enemies, etc…).

Church, our neighbors are going to hell and if you don’t care you’ve completely abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I don’t mean care in the sense that you mouth the words. I mean care as in being absolutely compelled by the Holy Spirit to do something about it!

I get you have buildings that must be maintained and programs that must be run to “feed” the sheep. But how many people are you going to let spend eternity separated from God because you made those things your priority instead of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ like He told you to do?

It’s time the Christian church got its act together and went back to its 1st Century roots. We live in a culture that doesn’t want our message and is doing everything it can to separate itself from God. There is no better mission field than our own communities right here right now, which is what Jesus envisions when He created His church to be in the midst of unbelievers sharing the Message and bringing them home.

So church, you’re driving me absolutely crazy with your lack of interest in your mission. It’s time to get focused on the right things so that God can truly bless the work of your hands because it is the work He told you to do. It’s not about the building, the number of people in the pews, the Sunday morning message or any of that. It’s about people who don’t know Jesus who are going to spend their eternity in hell unless YOU do something. So get over yourself and get your people out of your building to share God’s word with a thirsty and dying people!

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