Posts Tagged ‘spiritual poverty’

Going to church on a Sunday morning.

According to http://www.missionaloutreachnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/some-statistics-on-the-number

  • The most recent research studies by the Barna Group reveals that one out of every three adults (33 percent) is classified as unchurched–meaning they have not attended a religious service of any type during the past six months. When these statistics are projected across the aggregate adult population, the numbers are staggering. An estimated 73 million adults are presently unchurched. When teens and children are added, the total swells to roughly 100 million Americans.
  • Since 1991, the adult population in the United States has grown by 15 percent. During that same period the number of adults who do not attend church has nearly doubled, rising from 39 million to 75 million–a 92 percent increase.
  • In America, it takes the combined effort of eighty-five Christians working over an entire year to produce one convert.

There are approximately 312 million people in the United States today and there are roughly 100 million people who are unchurched. This is staggering! It is no wonder why the United States has become one of the largest mission fields in the world. It is also, no wonder why other countries are now sending missionaries HERE to spread the Gospel.

I find it sad that one of the leading countries in the world has fallen so far behind in carrying out the great commission. There are so many mission agencies and churches that focus on sending American missionaries to other countries to spread the Gospel, but we are overlooking those in our own backyards who desperately need and are seeking God.

So where did we go wrong?

I think we gradually got away from where God wanted us. We started looking at how to satisfy our flesh. We started building huge buildings to house our mega-churches. The buildings are beautiful, but is that for God, or for us? We started entertainment ministries, like zumba, martial arts, and in one church I know of, even a weekly showing of the series The Walking Dead. You name it, we now have a ministry for it. I’m not saying that’s a completely bad thing, but sometimes we get so focused on what’s going on inside the church that we forget about what’s going on OUTSIDE of the church. We have plenty of inside ministries, but what has happened to OUTREACH? We sit back and say, “we have plenty going on for people to get involved with, so it’s up to them to walk through the doors.”

I don’t know the exact statistics, but I would venture to say that there are thousands of people out there that do not walk into our churches because they have been hurt by the church in the past. I understand that, I’ve been there. It makes you a bit cautious. If we hide behind our church walls, then those on the outside will NEVER know what is going on on the inside. We need to step out and love those around us the way that Jesus loved. We need to reach OUT to those around us the way the disciples did. They went out and loved people to Jesus. We need to do the same. I don’t want to be just a christian, I want to be an example of Jesus. This should be what we all strive for in our daily lives! There are enough churches in America, that if each church focused on outreach in their own communities, those living in spiritual poverty would be saved. We would not need other countries sending missionaries here to do what God commands US to do.

I feel I need to clarify that reaching out does not mean just to the poor woman living down the street. There are many wealthy people who live in spiritual poverty. Just because they have money, does not mean they have God! Spiritual poverty does not discriminate. Remember Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10? He was a chief tax collector and was wealthy, but he lived in spiritual poverty, until he met Jesus. Zacchaeus turned his life around, gave half his possessions to the poor, and righted any wrongs that he had done. As a result, he and his household were saved. The big thing here is that Jesus went and stayed with him at his house. Jesus went out, loved on him and changed not only the life of Zacchaeus, but of his household too.

There are millions of unchurched people in America. If we, as the Church, made a commitment to reach OUT to those around us, living intentionally to reach those who are living in spiritual poverty, through love and the building of relationships, we CAN reach America for God! The United States CAN be built on a Godly foundation.

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