The State Of The Church

The polls are in and the news is bad for the Church in America.
According to Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research, Christianity is on the decline, Americans have given up on God, and the "Nones"—those who have no religious ties—are on the rise. The data is clear. Parts of the Christian Church in America are struggling, while a growing number of Americans are far from God. 
Does Stetzer draw us a sobering picture? Certainly he does! Here's the thing though, this research data gives us a realistic picture of our health—rather than the overly optimistic view we'd prefer. The one we wish we saw when we looked in the proverbial mirror. A report like this, not unlike an annual physical, is exactly what we need to hear. America has given up on God. Has God given up on America?
We serve a God who promises: "I am the Alpha and the Omega," who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." No matter what it may feel like day in and day out, God is in absolute control of all we experience here on earth. No matter how much we grasp at control, like the sand slipping though our fingers, we must be reminded that "this world is not our own."
I serve as pastor at a church full of broken, damaged, and hurting people. Do you know the type? Likewise, they have a shepherd who is less than what they could hope for at times, and more than they can handle at other times. Fortunately, God remains firmly in control. Fortunately, the Alpha and Omega continues to bleed love for His children in an ocean wave of ways that we will simply never deserve.  
The State of the Church is somber. But the hope we have in Christ is secure. He will remain faithful, even when we falter. Ultimately, my hope is not in the church. Not in the "successful" church down the street, not in the "stable" church I pastor. My hope is in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith!
- Pastor Milo


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