Jun 28, 2012

Grow, Proclaim, Be the Body of Christ

As you read this, thousands of presbyterians from all over the country are making their way to Pittsburgh, PA for the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

More than in any recent years that I can remember, there's a lot of conversations about congregations staying and leaving and denominations imploding.

As I read and listen to some of the debates regarding this I can't help but notice that conservative, moderate, and liberal PC(USA) congregations are declining and aging. Conservative, moderate, and liberal PC(USA) congregations have been seeing fewer adult and infant baptisms. That's why the PC(USA) as a whole has been declining in membership while the population of the US continues to increase since 1960's. 

That's a long time! And unfortunately that's a lot of people.

As much as we would like to put our focus on what the "denomination" is doing, the reality is that unless local PC(USA) congregations get better at proclaiming the love of Christ in such a way that people who do not know they are loved come into saving faith, it won't matter what the "denomination" is doing or not doing. 

Aging and declining congregations will continue to age and decline unless they get better at proclaiming Christ and being the church.

It seems to me, we should all focus on getting local churches healthy and growing, helping congregations get better at sharing and proclaiming Jesus Christ in their communities, and being the hands, feet, and lips of Jesus Christ in their communities.

Because, unless our local congregations do this, whether we stay PC(USA) or leave for another denomination, such congregations will still decline and die.

What's the point of that?

Let's grow God's kingdom.

Let's get better at sharing the love of Christ to our neighbors.

Let's get better at demonstrating the love of God to our neighbors.

Let's be the church. 

1 comment:

Ev said...

Amen and Amen. Keep the main thing the main thing.