I have a monthly overseas trip to minister in a number of nations. And, I am fully engaged in ministry here in North America when home. I minister in all types of venues – small numbers and substantially large numbers. I minister in young church plants that are growing and older churches that are stagnant and comfortable and thus not growing and even declining. Conservative to liberal. A fairly wide spectrum.
However, they seem to have one thing in common. When you listen to the teachings, pay attention to what is being asked in the prayer lines or during informal, after the service, conversations, and think about the songs churches use to worship the God they love and serve … Wow! It literally has little to do with God the Father or His Son, Jesus Christ. It has to do with the people. Oh, it is subtle but it is true nonetheless. It is all about our needs, our wants, our feelings, our lack, our desires, our hopes and dreams. The focus is very often me, myself, and I.
It is a universal problem,. It is as if people think (dare we say that they are taught) that Jesus is here to meet all their needs and take care of everything in their lives. It is subtle but we often state or sing in our services that Jesus is our servant – forgetting that we are here to serve Him as His bond-servants (read: slaves). Surprise of surprises – He is God and we serve Him. He is God and we obey Him. He is God and we follow Him. He is God and we exist “in Him” and work as a vital part of His Body, the Church. Note the word “work” (Ephesians 2:10; John 14:12). We work for Him – He is God. It is not all about us – it is all about Him; His plans and His purpose. His agenda.
Because the focus appears to be about us – it is difficult if not impossible to get people to take their eyes off themselves (their favourite subject) and put them on Jesus and His purpose in coming. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). And, He commissioned His Church (not our church) to do the same when He said, “Go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). So, our focus should not be us – but them. You know, the ones who do not believe and thus do not come to our weekly assembly on the weekend or our small groups during the week.
This is a major paradigm shift … but, unless it is made, many of today’s churches will not exist in the near future. Statistics show that the Christian Church is declining in both attendance as well as influence in almost every community in most nations. So, major changes are needed and they all start with each and every believer recognizing that it is not about us – it is all about Him.