We’re teetering on the edge of persecution, near a tipping point. It might never happen, but on the other hand it could start at any moment. Is your church ready?
At Any Moment…
Historian Michael Kruger says that in the second century, persecution was often regional, rather than empire-wide. Persecution could hit you without affecting the whole nation at once. It’s happened to many businesspersons already.
Further, Kruger says violent persecution was often initiated by mobs. Mob-related events are on the rise in America. Charlottesville is just one example of many.
I think of what might have happened if Antifa had somehow concluded that Christianity was responsible for the alt-right. Knowing the facts, that’s obviously far from the truth; the alt-right leader there for that event was a self-declared atheist. But what if a mob were to decide:
Christian = conservative = right-wing = alt-right?
You and I know it isn’t true; but do they?
So again, are you ready? Would you like to be?
A Short Diagnostic List
The other day at The Stream I listed five areas in which Christian churches must prepare. All five are fundamental; they’re good for churches at any time. But they’re even more crucial when under pressure.
How would you rate your church on the following?
- Unity and Community
- Doctrine: Teaching what we believe
- Reasons to believe: Teaching apologetics
(See my Stream article for brief explanations of each.)
It’s just a very quick diagnostic list, but it might reveal something important to you. It would be good for you to ask your pastor to look at it in its original context, and then to come back here again for the rest.
Outside Consulting Needed?
As I consider that list, I see two things that churches may find difficult to address from within:
- If a church staff is divided, they often need someone else to come in and guide them toward unity.
- Many churches lack the resources to teach apologetics.
If either of those is your church, I’d like to help. Let me caution you, by the way: It’s standard practice for churches to try to work from within their own resources. Ask yourself these two questions: Is this important? And is this the kind of thing in which we’ve developed proven expertise?
Not everyone is good at everything. That’s fine. But if it’s an important issue, and you don’t have internal expertise, it’s usually wise to consult with external resources.
Consulting Offered: Team Issues and Apologetics
Readers of this blog know I’ve got plenty experience in apologetics. Besides that I’ve got advanced education in team and organizational dynamics (M.S. in Organizational Psychology), and plenty of experience putting it into practice consulting on team dynamics with dozens of mission-agency leadership teams and many churches.
I’m available on a limited basis to consult with churches that are ready for positive growth in apologetics and/or team unity. Please contact me for more info.
I want your church to be ready for what it’s facing today — and what may come in the weeks and months ahead.