Updated: Jul 7
Have you been jolted in the shift?
Of which shift am I writing? The shift in America from a Christian Nation to a Mission Field. I am sure that your church has been jolted. Haven't you felt it--sensed it--and seen it around you?
Here is some context that might help make more sense of what I am trying to express:
America was founded as a Christian Nation. For three and a half centuries, from the Pilgrims onward, we were a refuge for Christians and we taught the Bible in our homes and schools. Even those that did not choose to follow Christ Jesus still knew large parts of the Bible. This Bible literacy stretched up to the Mid-Twentieth Century. Then it began to wane. After just one generation of not teaching the Bible to Americans caused America to became a mission field.
The old methods of evangelizing people who knew the Bible stories do not work in a mission field where people might not have even heard the name of Jesus. Even using the traditional approach of passing out evangelistic tracts is largely a waste.
So let me restate my message one more time. Christians continue to operate on principles developed during the Christian Nation Phase. Those principles are not effective in the Mission Field Phase.
Churches and denominationalism are dying. Why? Because not only do they not work in a mission field. They have actually become roadblocks to evangelism. They insult and scare people who do not have a clue about what is being shared with them.
What is the remedy? Switching to mission field tactics as the Apostle Paul did in Athens. Paul was not in a Synagogue where people knew the Scriptures. He was in a pagan city--a mission field. Therefore, he connected to them by acknowledging that they were worshipping their gods but that they were missing the top God. And he transitioned from that point and began injecting the Good News into his speech. Only one or two were converted, but that was a great success, not a failure as a few pastors have preached.
Therefore, follow the Bible and the example of the Apostle Paul. Change your tactics and connect with the people of the Mission Field. Make your gatherings and assemblies basic, focusing on prayer, Bible study, preaching, fellowship around food, and ministry to the Body of Christ. Then scatter and be the ambassador of the Gospel Jesus intended you and me to be. ##