Since the fall of man there has been a war raging for the souls of all human beings. The Church is God’s chosen instrument in that war. Today the Church faces what may be its most serious and difficult battle…we are standing on a precipice…the stakes are high.
the·ol·o·gy—the study of the nature of God and religious belief.
i·de·ol·o·gy—a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.
If theology is not taken seriously…ideology will rule the day
I will never forget the day. It was November 2008 and I was at The World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, CO for an intense time of prayer and crying out to God. I must admit sadly that I do not hear Him very often in this way through no fault of His. On this occasion He gave me the most clear and profound word/impression I have ever heard…My people are not prepared. That’s it—five words.
I remember thinking at the time, what does this mean? As I began to unpack this powerful proclamation a couple of things hit me. First, He began with My people—dear friends, that means His followers. The next thing I noticed happened a couple of months later in the form of the great financial crash of that year. We experienced streams of couples coming in for counseling as their marriages were in great tribulation.
The tendency was to blame the circumstances. However, all their circumstance did was reveal the lack of substance and commitment missing all along. Someone once said that trials in life do not make a person so much as they reveal them. Then, on a personal note this word also hit home for me. It was not long after this encounter that Cindy and I lost everything we had stored up for our future in a business failure. I can look back upon that now and honestly say the Lord revealed in me some weaknesses I did not know were there—I too was not prepared.
Over the years I have seen multiple occasions where a dangerous number of people who claim to be Christians have crumbled and fallen apart in the face of trials. To date, what I have not witnessed is a trial so enormous, so serious with such incredible implications whose result could have the most devastating effect on the church she has ever experienced. While today this is happening world-wide, the implications for the church in America are critical.
The convergence of Covid-19, unrest brought about by anger and violence and some very dark hidden agendas have created the perfect storm. There has never been anything quite like this, certainly in my lifetime and perhaps in our history. In the middle of all of this much of the church in our nation has taken on a deer in the headlights look and feel. Why? This should be our finest hour, but we are in great danger of missing it.
Many of our churches seem weak and confused right now. I believe that the lack of building spiritual depth in people and the focus on attraction models to build audience are two related and key factors that are minimizing our impact. Our people are not prepared for this. They have not been deeply rooted in their relationship with Jesus enough to withstand the power of the enemy as he cleverly uses dysfunctional societal norms to confuse and deceive. They are more persuaded about how to think by their ideology than their theology.
Perhaps even more serious is the level of confusion and frustration on the part of so many of our pastors and leaders. I had one pastor from one of the largest mega-churches in our nation openly admit that depending upon how he lines up with what is going on right now he could lose between 40-60 percent of his congregation.
In addition many of our members are feeling hopeless and struggling with fear. They desperately need strong leadership right now.
My friend how we respond to the time we are in has enormous implications for the mission God has entrusted to us going forward. I believe there are three potential outcomes we are headed for:
- We do nothing different, continue with our attraction and crowd building models and produce more of what we’ve got. In this scenario the church will have little impact upon our culture.
- We speak the truth in love no matter what deeply seeded ideology might conflict with theology and lose a lot of people—we become a remnant. I am reminded that God loves remnants and can just as easily bring about a revival through them.
- We see a great revival of unity within the Body—we rise up and experience a tremendous spiritual revolution in our nation as we commit to making true disciples of Jesus.
It should be obvious to all but the ideologically driven church that number one is not an option. We all need to be on our knees right now praying for God to show up through an incredibly profound revival of unity within His church. Here are some points of prayer to consider:
We are called to change hearts…not opinions
Prayers For The Post 2020 Church:
- That our people will be able to discern the danger of allowing ideology to affect their theology
- For our pastors and leaders to focus on Jesus and not the cultural noise swirling around them
- For a spirit of intense prayer to rise up across our nation
- That there be unity within the Body of Christ
- Pastors to be bold and courageous in the face of ridicule and push back
- That we prepare our people for more tribulation and teach them what to do if typical church gatherings cannot happen
- That all of us are able to see people through the eyes of Jesus and not their ideological positions—to LOVE
For those of us who love Jesus we know that all things are possible with Him. We can do this. This can be our finest hour.
I serve an incredible church pastored by my friend Steve Holt here in Colorado Springs, CO. The Road @ Chapel Hills is an amazing congregation filled with spiritually mature believers who are processing this current challenge with much peace and grace. Pastor Steve’s incredible grasp of the scripture, dedication to prayer and deep understanding of the need for a balance of Spirit and Truth is producing results. Though we are not perfect I love the model we are creating. Our vision is A Kingdom Revolution In The Rockies. Our mission—Empowering People To Change The World For more information or to follow our messages please visit theroad.org.