- The Word “Christian” Will Become Less Used and More Clear
- The Nominals Will Increasingly become Nones
- Christians Will Increasingly Change Cultural Tactics
- More Robust Churches will Result from the Death of Nominalism
There is no third way on this issue. Several years ago, I made that argument and was assailed by many on the left as being “reductionistically binary.” But, the issue is binary. A church will recognize same-sex relationships, or it will not. A congregation will teach a biblical position on the sinfulness of same-sex acts, or it will affirm same-sex behaviors as morally acceptable. Ministers will perform same-sex ceremonies, or they will not.
Conversely, though, I also can see a simple but profound pattern among the declining churches.
Stated simply, the most common factor in declining churches is an inward focus.
The ministries are only for the members. The budgetary funds are used almost exclusively to meet the needs of the members. The times of worship and worship styles are geared primarily for the members. Conflict takes place when members don’t get things their way. You get the picture.
- I had to develop the ability to say no more than I get to say yes
- I have to live with sometimes being unpopular
- I have to move forward sometimes in uncertainty
- I had to get comfortable challenging mediocrity
- I had to lower my pride and admit I can often be wrong
- I had to come to a reality that I couldn’t be everywhere or do everything
- I had to realize that sometimes the best thing to put on my calendar is rest
If you’re waiting to meet that person that will trigger some sort of magical moment inside of you that will dub them as “the one”, there’s a good chance you’ll be waiting for a long, long time. Instead, do yourself a favor and begin to make connections with the people God has placed in your life. Get to know yourself, and then get to know people of the opposite sex who have the qualities you are looking for in a future mate.
Because people unconsciously think a storm with a female name is less dangerous than one with a masculine name, those in its path are less likely to flee, and are therefore more vulnerable to harm.
As a result, strong Atlantic hurricanes with the most feminine names caused an estimated five times more deaths than those with the most masculine names, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wrote in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But more often than not, the real talent is in the ability to handle the boredom of running through the scale, or the play, or the drill, again and again, hours a day, week after week, for 16 years. So on that one summer weekend toward the end of the line, you can say, “We’ll do it this time,” as if the “it” were pouring a glass of milk and not winning an NBA championship.
So here’s where it gets good for Jesus’ followers. And not just good, but real good. As we respond to the call in our life to be Jesus’ disciples, we are called to begin looking more like Jesus. That’s when we actually begin to reveal the glory of the Father. Check this out: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image” (2 Cor 3:18, NLT). I LOVE THIS!!!