Week 1 Emails

In case you missed an email, you can find it here.

Teen Equip – Houston, we have a problem

We began our journey last Thursday with some sobering statistics.  Here are just a few of them:

From a survey given to Christians in their twenties:
·         Over 40% say they are not born again.
·         35% declare the Bible has errors (or they don’t know if it has errors).
·         65% believe that if you are a good person you will go to heaven.

And from another survey we saw that:
·         42% of Bible believing Christians believe that God accepts the worship from ALL religions.
·         78% of Bible believing Christians believe that Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.
·         32% agree that religious beliefs are a matter of personal opinion and not about objective truth.

But the most sobering statistic was that 7 out of 10 youths who grow up in the church will LEAVE the church when they leave the home.  WOW!

But the bigger WOW was this: youths who faithfully attended Sunday school were MORE likely to be the ones that LEAVE the church!  They were also the ones who were more likely to believe in evolution and the right to have an abortion!  Double WOW!

Now, I didn’t mention other sobering statistics like the thousands of churches that close down every year, the divorce rates in the church, the addiction rates in the church, and so one.
But the conclusion that anyone will come to when looking at these and other church statistics is simply this:

There is something seriously wrong in the American Church today!

Remember the picture we painted?  It was the Titanic: The greatest unsinkable ship of its time.  But what happened to it?  The unsinkable ship sank!  And what’s happening to the American church? 

The first step to solving any problem is FIRST to recognize there IS a problem.  So many people in the church today don’t recognize that the American Church is in serious trouble.  So that is the first stop in our journey – recognizing that, Houston, we have a problem!

Stay tuned for the next recap…
Mr. Alan

Teen Equip – Something Has to Change

In the last email we summarized part 1 as:

There is something seriously wrong with the American Church today!

Now, this isn’t new news. Handfuls of church leaders, pastors, and Christian authors have been talking about the problems in the American church for several years now (actually decades!). But it appears that the common solution to so many of the problems in the church today is to “Make Church Better!”

Better music
Better sermons
Better worship
Better programs
Better buildings
Better church name
Better furniture
Better pastors
Better elders
Better activities
Better lighting and sound
And the “Make it Better” list goes on and on! (and let’s not forget the fog!)

But what will be the problems in the church 5 years from now? The exact same problems!

And how will the church try and solve those problems? Yep, you guessed it! By making church better!

And what will be the problems 5 years from then? The exact same problems!

I think you get the point 🙂

So, remember the word that is often used to describe doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

“INSANITY”

Yes, insanity! It is crazy to think that the problems in the church will be solved be applying the same solutions, year after year. In reality, from the statistics that were shown, it is only making the problems worse.

If we are wanting to see CHANGE in the American Church in a positive and Biblical direction, and especially with today’s Christian youth, trying to make church better is just not going to work. Something HAS to CHANGE.

Do you want to see change? Are you guys ready to be a PART of that change?

Me too!

Stay tuned for some more recaps and see you Thursday as our journey continues!

God Bless!

Mr. Alan

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continue our recap…

So far, we have established the following:

  1. There is something seriously wrong in the church today
  2. Trying to “Make church better” is not working
  3. Something has to change

 So, the big question now is, what has to change?

Not too long ago I did a survey and asked Christian leaders what they thought were the biggest problems in the church today.  I compiled their answers and summarized the following problems:

  • Complacency/apathy
  • Self-centered/Man-centered
  • Loss of appetite for the things of God
  • Lack of zeal
  • Lack of regeneration
  • Lack of discipleship
  • Lack of sound doctrine/biblical preaching
  • Lack of God’s power
  • Lack of Unity
  • Consumer mentality
  • Love of the world/worldliness

And of course, we can add the two things from Ken Ham’s book, “Already Gone,” and they are:

  • 7 out of 10 Teens will leave the church
  • Sunday School attenders are more likely to fall away

Ironically, when searching the Internet, these same problems were almost identical to the ones in the local survey.  So, this isn’t just a local issue – it is a nationwide pandemic!

Most Church leaders would agree that these are serious problems in the church today.  But, wait a minute!  Are these REALLY problems?  OR are they just the SYMPTOMS of a BIGGER problem that has not been properly diagnosed?

Hmm…

Here is an example.  You have a problem – your arm is bleeding.  The solution?  A band-aid.  Three hours later your band-aid is soaked with blood – that’s a problem!  So, what’s the solution?  Get a new band-aid.  Three more hours and your new band-aid is soaked.  But this time, you think to yourself, “Ah, I will be smarter this time. I’m going to get a bigger, better band-aid.” 3 hours later your band-aid is wet, but not soaked.  So you think, “Ah, this bigger better band-aid is working!” But is it really working?  The problem hasn’t been fixed; it’s just been covered up. 

So, are all of those items listed above REALLY a PROBLEM in the church?  Nope. They are just symptoms of a much LARGER problem that is in the church.

So, what has to change? 

The first thing we need to CHANGE is the way we see the “problems” in the church.  How do we do that?  By recognizing that the “problems” in the church are not problems but rather symptoms of a much larger undiagnosed problem.

So, are you curious as to what that LARGER problem is?  What is it that is causing 7 out of 10 teens to leave the church?  And all of the other symptoms we mentioned?

Well, guess what?  I’m not going to tell you! 

Instead, I am going to guide you along a journey where YOU and your hiking buddies, yourselves, will discover, discern, and identify the core problem of the church today.

And why would we want to do this?

If we want to change the direction of the next Christian generation then we must understand HOW it is we got to be where we are today.

Again, one of the first steps to arrive at a solution is first to properly identify the problem.

Are you with me?  Are you ready?  If so, you better tighten up those boot laces, secure your backpack, and prepare to venture along some of those “less traveled” rugged trails.

See you Thursday evening!

Mr. Alan

Don’t forget – you can still invite your friends!