The Declining U.S.A. Church
Jesus gave specific instructions to his followers when he said: "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature… . Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them … teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."1
Tragically the church in the U.S.A. today is in sad decline. "Few have spoken as sharply concerning the failures within the Church as Wes Moore, Founder of Evidence America, who wrote: 'We have no strategy to recruit and train new evangelists within our congregations. We don't organize our people to effectively reach the lost. Over 90% of our people have absolutely no intention of sharing their faith. Our leaders are often too apathetic to make any worthwhile changes. All the while, the numbers stare us in the face: 85% of our churches are declining. When you measure church growth against population growth, only about 4% of churches in America are actually growing (that means 96% of churches are actually declining)… And, according to the Barna Group, of the more than 350,000 Protestant churches in America, over 60,000 don't have a single convert each year.'"2
I can't help but wonder, too, is another reason why the church in the U.S. is in decline because we have substituted entertainment for prayer supposedly to attract the younger generation? I think that Pastor Jim Cymbala, pastor of the once struggling Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City (now with 10,000 members), might agree. In a Sunday morning church sermon he was stressing the critical importance of prayer if their church was going to be blessed by God, and shared the following:
A minister from Australia (or perhaps New Zealand) happened to be present that morning—a rare occurrence. I introduced him and invited him to say a few words. He walked to the front and made just one comment:
"I heard what your pastor said. Here's something to think about: You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning. You can tell how popular the pastor or evangelist is by who comes on Sunday night. But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting."
And with that, he walked off the platform. That was all. I never saw him again.3
From my observation the weekly church prayer meeting, by and large, is a thing of the past. No wonder we are in decline.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be a vital part of a praying church that believes—in obedience to Christ's commission—that the supreme task of the church is the evangelization of the world. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Mark 16:20; Matthew 28:19-20.
2. Source: http://evangelicalviewpoint2006.blogspot.com/ May 1, 2012.
3. Cymbala, Jim; Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Zondervan, p. 28.