Christians Today Find Themselves In A Precarious Context To Minister

CHRISITANS TODAY FIND THEMSELVES IN A PRECARIOUS CONTEXT TO MINISTER. Many Christians’ concept of church and understanding of Christian theology most likely took shape in the mid-1800s to the mid-1950s. However, Christians today are called upon to minister in a pluralistic, skeptical, and secular culture that is post-modern, post-Christian, and post-denominational.

In a very real sense, these are unsettling and humbling times for Christians. New religious movements and strange theologies appear to threaten the relevance of the present-day church. To be sure, most churches have their own construct of the function and focus of the local church. Additionally, they have their own theological framework for understanding God and His mission to and for the world. However, the culture and new religious movements are not sympathetic or sensitive to the present-day church.

Nevertheless, the church must remain vigilant in engaging the culture in new and innovative ways with the saving, transforming, liberating, and reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In commenting on some of the challenges confronting the church, Dr. Geoffrey V. Guns writes, “The church is challenged with a deepening secularization of our culture, an increasing number of unchurched black males, a disturbing change in the moral and social norms of society, an exploding growth and dependence upon technology, a decreasing investment in children and youth ministries, an increasing reliance upon the survival mentality,  and a decreasing number of trained clergy and laypeople who possess the skills necessary to overcome the monumental problems of the local church ” (National Baptist Voice, Summer 2014). 

To address some of the challenges facing the church, Dr. Guns states: “We must go back to the basics of the Great Commission and the simple preaching of the Gospel; We must help individual churches develop new ways of redefining what it means to be a member of the local church; our denominational organizations must help constituent churches navigate change; we must help churches develop an appreciation for the richness and strength of our heritage; we must discover new ways to empower lay members and lay leaders to become more responsible for the growth of the church and the expansion of its ministry; congregations must begin to address the real spiritual hungering and thirsting that men and women have and long for by developing ministries that meet them where they hurt; we must refocus our vision so that it becomes Christocentric, and congregations must cultivate their love for God and faith within children and youth” (National Baptist Voice, Summer 2014).

Although we live in very challenging and disturbing times, we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility to equip others to face the challenges facing the church by clearly articulating the core message of our Christian faith. For many, the Trinity is at the core of the faith. Christians are called upon to remind our discouraged, disillusioned, and distracted culture that a life surrendered to the resurrected Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and informed by a loving Father leads to a life of everlasting joy, purpose, and peace that many in the culture long for. Communicating in word and deed the power of the mystery of the Trinity assist Christians in confronting many of the challenges of our churches and the culture by modeling God’s desire for a communal relationship with humanity based upon love, equality, dignity, sacredness, and mutuality. In essence, the church has the wonderful opportunity to equip others to utilize new technology, new approaches to ministry and leadership, and new paradigms that model “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” to the world around us (2 Corinthians 13:14, NASB).

I personally invite you to connect with our church family at 290 East Winchester Street – Gallatin, TN and experience the life-giving and life-sustaining mystery of the Trinity lived out in the everyday places of life! We look forward to connecting with you!
Pastor Jackson