Over the last several years, I have been to many churches where it’s being prought that the church needs to be ready for people-for the revival that’s coming, and, while I agree that revival is coming, I don’t believe it’s going to be in the church.
Because many churches now-a-days are more concerned with their image; making sure they’re “cool” and “hip” and with getting money.
Over the course of the last several years-eight to be exact-I have went to several churches. Let me tell you a bit about my experiences.
It was brought to the attention of one church I had gone to that an attendee knew of a family that wasn’t able to afford groceries and had several young children at the time. The person who knew of this family was willing to purchase the groceries with their own money-they just wanted them to be given through the church, but the response from one of the pastor’s was “we don’t do that sort of thing…”
Another church I went to for a time took Bible verses completely out of context and twisted it to fit their agenda–I quit going to that church soon thereafter.
And finally, I’ve attended a church where I was told right out that I wasn’t wanted or needed. That my dreams would never come true.
Here’s what I’m getting at; Why does the institution of the church think people are going to flock to them when they are continually turning their back on and/or are verbally beating down those who are there?
One statistic I found says that 80% of young people who have grown u in evangelical churches leave the church by age 29 because of how they are treated.
Please note: when it says they leave the church, it isn’t meaning they leave the Christian faith, it literally is saying they leave the institution of the church.
Churches seem to think that in order to get people into their doors, they have to put up a big, flashy show, have coffee shops with all sorts of fancy drinks and foods and all these different gimmicks, but I think that what young people are really wanting, is to know that they are wanted, needed and valued-that they aren’t just another number in a statistic of the capacity the church has reached.
Today’s young people are committing suicide at unprecedented rates because they feel like they aren’t wanted and that they’re just a burden to the people around them. This includes an equal amount of young people who have grown up in the church as those who haven’t.
How do I know? Because I was one of those young people who thought all of those things what I was in junior high just a few short years ago.
Growing up, the church I went to had a sign over the inside of the door that read,“You are now stepping into the mission field.” as you walked out the church doors.
The institution of the church has gotten to the point where they have convinced themselves that people are eventually going to come to them, so they just sit and wait and preach flowery things that make them feel like cotton candy and unicorns on the inside.
There’s a song that I just love called “If We are The Body” by Casting Crowns that speaks volumes. The chorus reads:
“If we are the body
Why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing?
Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way, there is a way”
The song goes on to talk about a man who is traveling away from home who comes to a church but leaves because the people were snubbing their noses at him and that “The weight of their judgmental glances Tells him that his chances are better out on the road.”
The first verse talks about a young woman who goes to church but the other young girls make fun and laugh at her right where she can see.
This song speaks exactly what many churches have turned into: a bunch of fluff and no substance.
In the Bible, when “The Church” was mentioned, they weren’t talking about a building or institution. They were speaking of each individual person.
“Do you not know that YOU are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 (emphasis added)
People sit and listen about reaching out to the lost. They go to church and have these massively emotional experiences and yet, when they go home, once the emotions have worn off, they do nothing to follow through and actually reach out.
THIS is why I believe that when revival does come, it won’t be in the buildings we call churches.
Let me be clear, there are many good churches who do reach out and care about the people that walk in their doors, unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the many churches that don’t.
There is coming a day -and to a small extent it’s already happening -where people are going to tire of the show that many churches put on, and they’re going to be searching or the truth. But it won’t be in the churches.
If you look back in history at any of the great revivals is North American history, you’ll see that they didn’t occur in the churches. They occurred in fields in the open elements, make-shift shelters, and/or tents and later on in the mid-1900’s in stadiums. Places where people weren’t worried about how they’d be treated or looked at. Places where people were accepted as they were-no matter what. Everyone was there for the same reason, to seek the real, unvarnished truth.
Another song by Casting Crowns is called “Does Anybody Hear Her?”
It’s about a young woman who is looking for help, hope and acceptance so she goes to a church but everyone turns their back on her because of her reputation and how she is dressed.
This is exactly what is happening to people who go to churches today. The church has hurt and turned away so many people because they didn’t fit a certain standard.
In the end, what it comes down to is people no longer see the church as being full of warm-hearted loving people, but of judgmental hypocrites who won’t accept them as they are-despite what is being prought about on a regular basis.
That is why revival won’t occur in the church.