You can tell a lot about the spiritual wellbeing of a church or congregation by reading their mission statement. For the uninitiated, a mission statement is a formal summary of the aims and values of a particular ministry or church, their core goals and aspirations. Some churches still have the preaching of the Gospel in their mission statement, but many have replaced it with flowery, less biblical pabulum such as community outreach, self-improvement, self-realization, and self-esteem. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be more than one thing in a mission statement, whether it be for a church or a ministry, but the principal thing should be identical across the board, unchanged from congregation to congregation, because without this one thing, we are of no benefit to the kingdom of God. It is because we have abandoned this principal thing that so many congregations are floundering about like fish on dry sand, without direction, purpose or vision, other than adding an annex to the gymnasium, or getting new pews with fluffier cushions. When Jesus sent the twelve out two by two, although He gave them power over unclean spirits, although it was within their authority to anoint the sick and watch them be healed, their mission statement had a singular purpose: to preach that people should repent! That’s it! That was the charter, that was the mission statement, that was the vision and the aim, to tell people that they should repent. What the people did with the message, how they responded to the call, was entirely on them. Their mission was not to push a certain denomination, their mission was not to showcase their abilities, or compel people with their well-rehearsed testimonies, it was to call men to repentance. Everything else flowed out of the principal thing, the principal task they were commanded to carry out. If they would have cast out demons and healed the sick without calling men to repentance, though noble on the surface, in reality they would have failed in their mission. Nowadays men glory in the irrelevant and altogether ignore the essential. You can watch countless hours of evangelists and preachers, heads of international ministries and pastors of star-like fame drone on about their jets, their pets, their homes, and their jewelry, yet none dares bring up the subject of repentance. You can hear leaders of some of the largest churches in the world tell you to look in the mirror and lie to yourself until you believe the lie, insist that God’s only desire is to make you happy, and that soon and very soon the wealth of the wicked will be transferred to the righteous, but of repentance not a peep. When it comes to calling men to repentance they are silent! We have inverted the message of Christ to such a degree, wherein we focus on the things He deemed irrelevant and not worth pursuing, and disregarding the one thing He commands all of His Apostles to preach unashamedly and unabashedly.
It’s not a mystery why church attendance is down, or why more churches than ever are shuttering their doors. It’s not a mystery why more people than ever are disillusioned with their spiritual growth and just throw in the towel. Repentance was never preached to them as the principal thing, and they’ve just grown weary pursuing other avenues to the destination only repentance can facilitate.
With love in Christ,
Posted on 25 July 2019 | 12:19 pm