By Dr. Francis Akin-John
I Am just thinking aloud here today as I wonder if many chur-ches in North America ever ask these quest-ions:
- Why have we not do-ne anything about years of decline? I don’t under-stand why nobody sp-eaks up about this pro-blem. Too many church-es sleep themselves into death.
- Are we reaching any non-believers? Even growing churches—in-cluding young church plants—often fail to ask this question. Transfer growth, though, will nev-er reach the world.
- If we weren’t here, would our community miss our church? The on-ly way to answer this question is to ask the community if they even know you exist. You mi-ght be surprised by their answer.
- How long will we toler-ate weak staff members? For fear of confrontation and division, congrega-tions too often tolerate bad leadership and a poor work ethic. Mediocrity has never made much of a dent in our dark world.
- If every family in our church gave sacrificially, what could we do? Most believers give quite a low percentage of their in-come to the church. Only God knows how much more min-istry we could do if we gave until we felt the sacr-ifice.
- Doesn’t anybody see how messy our building is (or how bad it smells)? No-body asks these quest-ions because church reg-ulars unknowingly become desensitized to these issues.
- How many more years before we die? A simple analysis and graphing of current rates of decline will show that many chur-ches will be gone within this generation or the next one. The problem is that nobody speaks about the symptoms un-til it’s too late.
- Why do pastors alw-ays leave us so quickly? It’s easy to blame the pastor if he’s the only short-ter-mer in the church’s hist-ory; if every pastor is short-term, though, the congregation needs to look in the mirror.
- Do we really care about sin? Many churches really do care about sin, but on-ly so long as it’s somebo-dy else’s. Meanwhile, they tolerate it in their own con-gregation.
- Does Satan know us by name? This is the que-stion of Acts 19:11-15 – a theme text for me about which I’ve written before. I still think we must ask this question.
Does your church need Time to ask these quest-ions?