By Michael C. Mack
On a recent Facebook discussion of Christian leaders, T. J. Lawson, senior pastor at West Side Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas, asked, “What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Christian leaders?” Here are the three most popular responses:
1. Self. This one was phrased a number of ways: “Christians,” “themselves,” the idea that “if it’s to be it’s up to me,” and “pride.” Leaders and other church members often put themselves and their desires (a form of consumerism) above God and his purposes. This is more than just a challenge; it’s idolatry.
2. Apathy in the church. Again, this was expressed in several different ways. One person wrote that too many people believe that “Sunday morning is what it’s all about.” Another echoed Kyle Idleman’s statement: “We need to be followers, not fans, of Christ.” One wrote, “Far too many members are content to be right where they are,” while another expanded on that: “Folks that warm the pews, folks who claim to follow Jesus and live like the world, folks who are afraid to witness what Jesus has done for them! We are supposed to have the good news!”
3. How to engage the culture. Mark McCoy, pastor at Colony Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, summarized what others said as well: “I think there is a lot of confusion over how to rightly engage everything from culture to politics. Do we save the culture or abandon it? The fragmenting of the church across the spectrum has enabled the enemy to distract the church from our core identity, principles, and mission. Are we worshipping Jesus? Saving the economy? Can we do both? I think we run the constant danger of establishing wrong battle lines.”