Part I: Big "C" Church

Slide 1 - The State of the Church - America
Opening Reading: Matthew 11:1-19
Point: Now is the time to ACT church! Here in America we see ourselves as strong,
individualistic, world leaders in politics, in industry, in education…even spiritually!
Jesus warns, “wisdom is proved right by her actions.” Will we heed the warning
signs of a crashing church!
Adapted From: “The Great Evangelical Recession,” by John S. Dickerson
Slide 2 - Facts - Overview
Slide 3 - Evangelicalism
Slide 4 - Question: Is the American Church thriving?
Slide 5 - Facts - SHRINKING
Slide 6 - We Are NOT Growing (Rom. 12:3)
Illustration: Picture the United States of America
Reports - 1/2 of 50 states are Evangelical Christians.
Reality - 1 State New York state (Population of 22 Million)
Slide 7 - The Church - Hated
Reading: John 12:26-36
Slide 8 - Headlines
Slide 9 - Quote Dr. David Jeremiah
Quote: Francis Schaeffer on the direction of the American culture, p.45, “The Great
Evangelical Recession”
Slide 10 - Graph “University Professors Negative Feelings About Various Beliefs
Slide 11 - American Church Divided (Mark 3:25)
Slide 12 - What are we dividing over?
Point: The Evangelical Movement was once a Unified Movement with pentecostals,
charismatics, calvinists, non-calvinists, fundamentalists, Baptists, etc., we agreed to
disagree on various fronts, because our focus was preaching the Gospel of Christ
to a lost and hurting world, now we are losing our cohesion.
Quote: John MacArthur, p.70
Slide 13 - Money Dependent
Slide 14 - Facts on giving
Slide 15 - Graph - 2009 Contributions to Churches & Ministries
Slide 16 - Graph - Percentage Given By Generation
Quote: Purdue Study reports, “That a 75 year old giver today was, at age 35, far
more generous than his 35 year old counterpart today: Today’s older generation
has always been more generous than today’s younger generation.”
Point: The Church is financially Bankrupt
Slide 17 - The Church Is Bleeding Out
Quote: Jim Collins, book “Good To Great,” p.97
Slide 18 - FACTS - Bleeding Out
Point: Barna’s greatest frustration, “We, the Church, is Failing to make Disciples!”
Our kids are not being trained and nurtured as disciples through our programming.
Their relationship with Christ is NOT growing more intimate. Their lives are not
being TRANSFORMED by the power of the Gospel.
Slide 19 - Questions About Our Focus
Slide 20 - Graph of Population vs. Atheists
Quote: p.116
Point: It’s critical that we take Discipleship seriously, and no longer try to produce
Re-Producing Disciples in quantity, but in quality.
Reading: Matthew 28:18-20

Closing Down…
As Jesus went on in the towns of Galilee teaching and preaching the coming of the
Kingdom of Heaven he spoke to many who were well educated on the "Son of Man"
Messiah and the one who would come before him, John the Baptist like Elijah, who
would "Prepare Messiah's Way." But the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and
Capernaum, the holy triangle, filled with many devote followers of God chose to ignored
John the Baptist's warnings and his identification of Christ as the promised Messiah
coming to deliver Israel. !
The big "C" Church in America has somehow followed suit, 2000 years after Christ's first
advent, it seems that our Following of Jesus acknowledges His coming more
intellectually, than practically. We seem to know a lot about Jesus, His coming, His life,
His death, His resurrection, His ascension and His sending the Holy Spirit to reside
inside His Followers empowering them to live a New Life, in mind, in deed and in spirit!
A New Life that when lived "In Christ" becomes a sweet smelling aroma to those that
are caught up in the destructive ways our world demands we live. One need only to
reflect on the majority of the happenings in our world during an evening news segment
to see the literal stench of death that looms heavy over billions of lives in our world
struggling daily to survive and find some small glimpse of hope.
In America, the land of blessing, many are blinded by our pursuit of the "American
Dream" and our acquisition of it, drowning in our own pleasure we intentionally block out
the darkest of realities in our own country: in-equality socio-economically, educationally,
diviciv-ness between people of different races, religions or classes, the disintegration of
our families, rampant sexualizing of used to sell…sell…sell, depression, addictions to
food, prescribed and illicit drugs are through the roof, the propagation of a culture bent
on violence and this is growing more and more entitled. Instead of looking at how we
are all culpable, we point the finger, we excuse, we demand somebody else change our
world; and yet the REAL world changer has already arrived on the scene, and His name
Jesus. Yet we in the church, who claim to know Him most, Jesus that is, don't really
know Him relationally, we know of Him informationally and this kind of knowing fails to
change us from the inside out, thus our world remains desperate and hopeless. !
As Jesus spoke to the crowds gathered from the holy triangle, he reminded them that,
"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been
subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it." This still remains true,
for those who reject Christ or the notion of God it is understandable that they do not
comprehend or care about what Christ is saying, but for us, those who choose to
declare Christ as our Savior, we are without excuse. We must be compelled to act!
It is time to SEE the violence that is coming against the kingdom of heaven, which is
being established by Christ's Church. It is time to shift our focus and become that Holy
Bride of Christ, that does the WORK of building Christ's Kingdom here on this earth, in
the hearts, minds and spirits of men. We the Church must acknowledge our own guilt,
bring it to the throne of "Grace" and allow God to do a new work in us! We must lead
the way to freedom for all the captives that are still not free! We cannot waste our
money, time and energy pursuing anything else. Lest we too, like post Christian
England, and Europe...Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum bring violence against the
very kingdom of heaven, we proclaim we belong too. A house divided, will not stand!
So are we the Church, the Body of Christ or are we NOT? Will we hear and respond to
Christ's command to love God and man, and act according to Christ's commission to
"Go and make disciples of all nations?" Your choice...will you?