I hate to be the voice of good tiding and rain on the pity party of those who seem to have proudly proclaimed the death of the church of Christ…BUT, as a connected observer…you are wrong! About every 20 years or so I have observed that a highly vocal negative minority arrises, writes and pontificates that the church is going to no longer exist (I could give you names and numbers). Today it’s the non-classical liberals parroting these prophecies. But this is not a post about them - they get way too much attention and pseudo-credibility already.
Frankly I’m seeing a growing frustration in social media from those who are getting tired of the Chicken’s Little wannabe’s out there.
I am proud to be a part of a humble and quiet but growing group of folks thankful for and optimistic about the church of our Lord. These are not “head in the sand” Pollyannaish folks. They know the church has problems, issues and challenges - they are just aware that the church has always had them and that it is bigger and stronger and the great good always engulfs the difficulties we face.
We are also keenly aware of the Text - something progressives jettisoned long ago. We are aware:
“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 ESV).
The church is the Lords - He purchased it Acts 20:28.
“then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father…” (1 Corinthians 15:24).
“ "For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end” (Daniel 6:26).
By no means would I indicate that I am a statistician but I also want to notice a few things:
This year Challenge Youth Conference in Pigeon Forge was the largest it has ever been bringing together over 12,000 (last year was about 10,000) under one roof to praise God (and these weren’t old and dying gray heads but young people).
Horizons at Freed-Hardeman went over 1,200 teens this year for the first time (the previous high was under 1,000).
This year Lads to Leaders had record crowds - of KIDS.
I am seeing more baptisms listed and posted this summer than I have personally ever seen.
Almost every camp I’ve spoken at this summer (I’ve been to 10 already) has reported record crowds.
One or two of these might be an anomaly but what I am seeing is a growing resurgence and optimism among God’s People. And it’s refreshing.
These “other voices: that keep telling us the church is dying - MAYBE it’s the negative folks always bashing that church who’s ranks are dying!!
So rejoice in good stuff happening all around.