I made a decision a long time ago that I never want to be thought of as a negative person, but some things are too much to take without commenting on. I suspect if John the Baptist were around the American Church scene today, his “preaching” style would look a lot more like a series of “rants” than what we think of as conventional preaching -it certainly wouldn’t be point-by-point preaching for heaven’s sake. He couldn’t hold his tongue when he saw things that were amiss.
I’m old enough to have been around on the ground floor of this thing that has become known as the “Church Planting Movement” that got its launch in a big way in the early 1980s. There were a handful of author-leader-professors who were mostly from Fuller Seminary, as a matter of fact. They all had good intentions with their theories.
Let’s get practical.
What do we/ what do I need to do now to make adjustments in the journey to rectify this situation?
Answer: Re-instill in new church planters as well as existing pastors the need to stress outreach /evangelism as the primary focus, rather than being known as another church on the all-you-can-eat consumerism approach to church that has been going on in America for the past 2-3 decades.
Another way to put this: Challenge your people to go out and serve, to become servants in their communities instead of seeing themselves as perpetual hospital patients who are always being trained and never doing anything with the information they have been soaking and absorbing in for years upon end.
Some will always be fearful of stepping out and putting knowledge into action.
I’m a realist. My guess is that a good 20% will never step into action, but with the Spirit’s blessing upon our words and leadership, perhaps as many as 80% of the people will respond to a loving, gentle, step-by-step challenge to move into an action-oriented form of following Jesus. Of course, you, as their leader, must be the first to take action or count on it -nothing will happen -that is a guarantee!