A Note From Chris- April 20, 2023

I spent a good part of this week in Arizona with a group of 6 pastors I’ve been meeting with twice a year for 7 years. They lead churches in Nebraska, Arizona, and Colorado. They have been at their churches from 1 year to 30 years. When we get together, we hold each other accountable, talk about our celebrations and discouragements, talk about our walk with Jesus, and discuss what we see happening in the nation and in the world regarding church. Here are a few insights from this week:

1)Things are trending up.
There are many markers in our world that show a decline in church attendance, church investment, and even belief in Jesus. The rise of the “nones”, the fastest growing religious group in our nation, is real and is discouraging.

But among those realities is a serious interest in all things spiritual. Today’s prominent cultural generation, Generation X, is less consistent and likely to be involved in church. But studies are showing, and my pastor friends are confirming, that they are a very spiritual generation. While some of the church scandals and traditions of the past aren’t resonating with them, they are deeply spiritual. As a whole, our nation and our world is more spiritual today, not less than before. That is an incredible opportunity for a church that is Biblical, practical, and serious about reaching people on a personal level and not just an organizational level.

Along with Cornerstone, several of my pastor friends have seen an increase in engagement and attendance lately, with people asking genuine faith questions and pursuing Jesus in some exciting new ways. That is an opportunity for us as we pray for our Ones and ask God to give us opportunities to share the truth with them.

2)The need is clearer than ever.
It doesn’t take long watching the news or scrolling headlines to realize that our world is broken and doesn’t seem to be self-correcting. If you have eyes to see it, the Evil One’s schemes can be seen everywhere: calling good evil and calling evil good. Somehow, much of our world is deceived by his tricks and manipulation. People are more anxious, stressed, broken, and confused than ever in my lifetime. The need for a Savior is more obvious than ever, and we have the best news there has ever been and a fantastic family to connect with people.

3)The urgency is now.
I’m not one to typically shout, “The sky is falling”. Yes, our nation is growing less Godless every day. Yes, many of the things of morality and sound thinking are being dismissed and marginalized. But historically, as the nation walks away from God, the church rises up. Across the world, the church is not just growing, but thriving in Iran, China, India and Indonesia, countries who are completely against the gospel of Jesus and some even legally persecute Christians. The incredible stories coming out of those nations is so encouraging. The truth really is the truth. And our urgency is now. Our friends, our relatives, our Ones....they need the truth. They need us to share the reality of Jesus, even imperfectly and with our own confusion or doubt.

When we have feelings and thoughts like, “I don’t want to be pushy” or “I don’t know if they want to know about Jesus”, I’m reminded that the time is short. Sure, don’t be pushy or annoying. But be persistent. Be intentional. Recognize that the time is short, and we only have this one life.

I can’t wait to meet your Ones and as needed help you baptize them into Christ. Already, three people on our “This Is For Everyone” light wall have surrendered to Jesus. I am so excited to see God move even more.

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