NEW! Salt on F-I-R-E
Paperback Price (USD): $13.99
Kindle Edition (USD): $9.75
We first-world Americans are living in a unique time. Individuals and organizations have the ability to harness technological modes of communication that can carry our voices to the very ends of the earth in a matter of seconds, the Bible is available in nearly every format and language imaginable, and American Christians are still generally free to live out their faith without fear. Yet at the same time, many of our churches are in crisis mode, shrinking year after year and becoming increasingly irrelevant both in our communities and in the nation at large.
In response, churches have scrambled to do all they can to make church as cool as possible, adding cafés, atmospheric effects, fancy stage lighting, and rockin’ worship bands. Some have adopted a variety of new evangelistic programs to try to reach greater numbers of people. None of these things is inherently bad, but they seem to be falling woefully short of actually reaching the people in their communities.
In many churches, the mad scramble to stem the egress, and perhaps even attract a few new worshipers, has gone beyond just trying to make church hip and cool. In these churches it has all led to a second, even worse crisis—a culture of aberrant teaching, the absence of any expectation of personal holiness, loose morals and ethics, and greater concern for social acceptance and political correctness than for the inerrant, unchanging, infallible Word of God. In any case, these, like most churches and Christians, recognize that there is a real need for effective evangelistic outreach, which is true.
However, most church-based evangelistic endeavors begin with a model of evangelism that will inevitably yield either limited success or none at all. They begin with an expectation that the people who need to be evangelized will somehow be enticed to come to the church to be evangelized, and will then suddenly come to adore the church, and will start to take part in the life of the church, just like all the rest of us good Christian people. It is a vision for growth that depends largely on a model of evangelism that takes place almost exclusively within the church, where it is unlikely to reach the scads of people who would not normally come to a church in the first place, who usually do not even have an interest in coming to a church, and who typically do not think they have a need for the message of the church.
Something has to change, and quickly! The people we rub shoulders with every day are floundering in life, lacking in purpose and meaning, and ultimately dying without hope. The very institution established by the Lord to do something about the problem of our dying world is aging out and dying off at a breakneck pace, not to mention becoming more and more irrelevant by the day.
For too long, ordinary everyday Christians like you and I have sat idly by and watched the world sink further into anger, despair, and loneliness, drifting further from the Lord with every breath. For too long we have been satisfied with the status quo, all the while hoping that something would change, that someone would do something, and that people would start coming to church and coming to Christ. As my mother-in-law would say, “Wish in one hand, spit in the other, and see which one fills up first.”
The only way to deal with a crisis is to get to the core of the problem. Real revival will not occur in the church or in the nation until it occurs in the hearts and minds of individual Christians, moving them individually to reach their own spheres of influence for Christ, both inside the church and outside of it. As important as the institutional church is, real lasting change will not happen in the church or in the nation without faithful, uncompromising, dedicated, everyday Christian people like you and I on the front lines carrying the Gospel message and the banner of Christ.That is what this book is really all about.