Churches have a mission that God has given. This is beyond dispute. But, we cannot overlook the personal mission that comes with being a follower of Christ.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us.” You want to talk about a mission? Paul says he is certain God is working through us. This is both wonderful and challenging.
By Ed Stetzer, The Exchange.
In the West, churches that take biblical authority seriously are entering a new season.The transition of nominals to nones will, in the long term, cause the biblically faithful to be marginalized from society.
With that being the case, I think ultimately we are going to have to teach people to live as exiles. I believe the exile will be more of a motif people use to describe the church in its current situation here in the West.
Look at how we have progressed to this current state. A hundred years ago, the church was the chaplain to the culture. It functioned as the moral guardian. However, that role eventually waned. The church became viewed as the disapproving parent of the culture. Eventually, nobody cared any more if the church approved or disapproved. Now, the church is left standing as an exile within the culture.
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life reported in 2011 that 66 percent of evangelical Protestant leaders who live in the Global North (primarily Western countries such as the U.S.) say their influence in culture is waning. In the U.S., Protestant leaders are especially pessimistic. Eighty-two percent say that their influence in their communities is declining.