Yesterday, a brother asked me, “What do you think are the biggest problems facing the church today?” For the record, I don’t like these kinds of questions. And I really don’t like being on the receiving end of one of them. It seems kind of presumptuous to me to try to answer for the spiritual condition of large sections of Christians in the world. I have a hard enough time monitoring my own heart, not to mention my own congregation. So it seems to that I should be pontificating about the larger body of Christ. Yet, we talk like this all the time. I trip out when I turn on one of the “religious talk shows” and here the host asks some high-profile religious personality, “What do you think the Lord is saying to the body of Christ today?” I’m waiting for someone to be humble enough to look the host in the eye and say, with all sincerity, “Huh?” Anyway, I’ve been thinking about that brother’s question. And from my little corner of the world and my limited personal experience, I believe there are several problematic issues that are hindering the spiritual health and growth of many Christian believers and congregations. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. A lack of confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture
2. An unbiblical philosophy of ministry
3. An absence of theological reflection and doctrinal consideration
4. A preoccupation with worldly success
5. A failure to practice biblical discernment
6. A celebrity mentality toward spiritual leadership
7. A refusal to embrace the biblical order of gender roles
Now, I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. So this list is not “inspired,” in any sense. These are just my peronal observations. I used broad terms so that my list would be no more than 7, rather than longer than 25. These are the things that I am personally concerned about as I read, travel, and observe Christian ministry in across America. And I pray that the Lord will help me to be faithful to him in these areas within my sphere of influence.
I’m curious to hear your comments. What do you think are the biggest problems facing the church today?