We asked several Christian leaders, “What should churches served by CHRISTIAN STANDARD strive to be or do or look like in the next decades?”
By Dusty Rubeck
I would like to see our churches focus on eradicating three crippling spiritual diseases in the next 20 years.
1. Biblical Illiteracy
I’ve been involved in ministry leadership since 1983. Over that time I have seen a steady decline in basic biblical knowledge. While it is most pronounced in our youth, it is evident at all age levels.
This must change. We must move from biblical relevance to biblical revelation and transformation. Active study and application of the Bible not only improves our relationship with God and gives us guidance for life; it changes the very way our minds function. This is true in all fields of serious study, but none have the same impact on the human mind as the study of God’s Word. We don’t need a new Bible app, we need biblical minds.
Just a few short years after a significant financial recession in America, we are back to where we were before, and probably worse. Wealth addiction is more pronounced than at any time in my life. The Christian church has battled every other addiction that has plagued our people; alcohol, drugs, sex . . . even food! And yet, we let this constant pursuit of “more” thrive. We need to move our members from material wealth to spiritual well-
being. We need to invite them to believe in Heaven as the only true wealth that awaits us.
3. Spiritual Pride
In 1637, Descartes first wrote the famous phrase Cogito ergo sum, which is translated, “I think, therefore I am.” My personal phrase today is, “I lead, therefore I struggle with pride.” I notice my temptations of pride each day. Left unchecked, it clouds my judgment, muddles my communications, diminishes my love for others, and threatens to destroy my soul.
James 4:6 tells us, “God opposes the proud.” He does not say pride is OK as long as we are proud of the right things. In fact, God did not even say he was proud of his only Son. Instead, he said he was well pleased with him!
Yet we see pride all around us in the church. It sneaks up on us when we are at our best. Parachurch leaders struggle, ministers struggle, worship leaders struggle, and some leaders don’t even bother to struggle—they blindly let pride abound. Spiritual pride is nothing more than pride with a whitewashed label. And it is not OK. Pride will destroy us and ruin our witness to the world.
Imagine what we might accomplish for the Great Commission if we brought these spiritual diseases to an end.
Dusty Rubeck resides in Dallas, Texas. He serves as president of Church Development Fund and also as president of The Co:Mission Foundation, both headquartered in Irvine, California.