In my teaching over the years I have often said “If the church is not discipling the nation, the nation will disciple the church.”
Back in March, the Disciple Nations Alliance forum was held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Among the presentations was one by our friend and co-worker of almost 25 years, Luis Sena. Luis took our collective breath away with his prophetic message, Why the Church is not Discipling the Nations.
Consider a brief excerpt:
That´s why the expressed strategic goals for churches are so often the same as those of corporations: “self-preservation, growth, and expansion.” Most plans for churches have as their focus the “expansion” of their size (i.e. numbers as indicators of effectiveness). Driven by self-preservation, preachers and teachers don’t touch the hot issues of the culture, because they know they will be persecuted. The privileges they enjoy as organizations will be lost. They will be challenged by the surrounding culture. Church leaders (usually) won’t risk publicly applying truth because it might mean putting the ministry in danger. But, when a church adopts this paradigm, it has inadvertently forsaken the truth.
I have seldom heard anyone speak so boldly and accurately about the church today. If you have a heart to see your nation discipled … if you agree that the church is the primary instrument for social transformation, Luis’ presentation will help you understand one of the barriers.
Success for the church is not measured in numbers of seats filled on Sunday morning. The mark of the church is her impact on the community and society. Often being faithful to the call of Christ requires that a price be paid. Do we want to see our communities and nations healthier places for our children and grandchildren? If that is to happen, our churches may need to change their vision, model, and priorities.
Please! Please! … pass this post and its links on to your pastor and key leaders of your denomination or church’s missions arm. They may love you or hate you for it! But our leaders need to hear this short prophetic message to the church.
- Darrow Miller