What is the Church Lacking Today?

Disclaimer: I wouldn’t say that all churches lack this today, but I would certainly say most churches are. But this article talks about what major thing is the Church lacking today.

A pastor of the small rural Church sat at his desk, staring at the stack of missionary applications in front of him. It was a task he had been putting off for weeks. Yet, as he sifted through the pile, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of guilt wash over him.

The Church had always been a strong supporter of missionary work, sending out teams to spread the Gospel around the world. But lately, it seemed as if the Church had become complacent.

Pastor John sighed and leaned back in his chair. He knew the reason for the slowdown. The Church had been struggling financially for years, and the cost of sending out missionaries was becoming increasingly difficult to bear. But he also knew he was responsible for leading the Church in fulfilling its mission.

As he sat in contemplation, his office door opened, and his secretary, Mrs. Jenkins, walked in. “Pastor, the mission board is on the phone for you,” she said.
Pastor John picked up the phone and greeted the mission board chairman. “Hello, Bruce. How can I help you today?”
“John, we’re calling to see if your church has any missionaries ready to be deployed,” Bruce replied. “We’ve had a sudden opening in Africa and need someone to fill it as soon as possible.”
Pastor John hesitated. He knew the Church had several qualified candidates, but he also knew they didn’t have the funds to send them out. “I’m sorry, Bruce. We don’t have anyone available right now. Maybe next quarter,” he said, hoping to buy some time.
Bruce was silent for a moment.

“John, I understand our Church’s financial struggles, but we can’t afford to wait. This is a crucial opportunity to spread the Gospel in Africa. We need our Church’s support now more than ever.”

Pastor John’s heart sank. He knew Bruce was right. He couldn’t let the Church’s financial struggles keep them from fulfilling their mission. “You’re right, Bruce. I’ll see what I can do. We’ll send out a team as soon as possible.”

Pastor John stopped thinking about it after his conversation with Bruce; he asked the Lord for guidance on the issue. After spending time with God in prayer and with a renewed sense of determination, Pastor John set to work. He gathered the mission board and the church council together and presented a plan. They would have to cut back on some expenses and fundraise aggressively, but they were determined to send a team of missionaries to Africa.

And so, despite their financial struggles, the small rural Church was able to rise to the challenge and fulfill its mission of spreading the Gospel in Africa.

Time went by; years passed, and pastor John passed away. There came a new pastor, Pastor Rob. He was dedicated to serving the Church and leading it in a way that had never led before. Church got busy with many programs. Pastor Rob hired some Church members to lead the programs; some came to volunteer in various ministries. The Church was growing despite it being in a small town.

Jeremiah was a member of this Church. He loves to read and listen to sermons and podcasts about God’s Word. He’s been going to Church for nine years now. But he was not a member of the Church while Pastor John was alive.

One day, a man stopped by the Church. This man was amazed at the various ministries of the Church. He read the bulletin from top to bottom. He was happy to learn how this Church was active in many things. No one knows who this was, but this person was an African missionary. He was on a trip to find support for his African ministry.

Now, Jeremiah did not know anything about this missionary. However, seeing this missionary looking at the bulletin and an expression of amazement on his face, Jeremiah went and met this new-looking guy in the town and asked him about his details. The missionary said, sorry if my presence causes any issue here; I was passing through the city and remembered about the Church in this town. So I thought I would stop by and see the Church.

Then Jeremiah said, I am sorry if I bother you, but I noticed you are new here and thought I would introduce myself and ask for some details about you. But you said that you “remembered” about the Church. So, were you here before? I am sorry again; I have been going to this Church for only a few years, so I do not recall seeing you around. Then the missionary said, no sir, I do not go here, nor am I a member here. I am from Africa, and I am a missionary. There is a long history, however, between this Church and us.

Jeremiah was intrigued by this news. He said, Oh my, a long history? Tell me about it. The missionary said, oh, no problem. Then he explained how this Church was involved in African ministry and how Pastor John sent men from this Church to reach out to the African community and did many things for the outreach ministry. The missionary said because of Pastor John’s heart for missions, we were able to reach thousands of souls with the Gospel message. However, we haven’t heard anything from Pastor John for a long time. We were hoping that his team would come with Mr. Bruce.

Jeremiah interrupted him and said, I am not sure of Bruce, but are you talking about this Pastor of ours? (At that time, the new Pastor of that Church, Michael, was coming towards these two as they spoke). The missionary, confused for a moment, looked at Michael, greeted him, and introduced himself.
Pastor Michael said, Hello, who do I have the pleasure of meeting? I am Pastor Michael, the senior Pastor of this Church. The missionary said, oh, ok; I was hoping to see Pastor John here. Is he around? Pastor Michael said, sorry, Pastor John passed away. Then the missionary asked, what about Mr. Bruce? Pastor Michael said, sorry, Bruce also passed away.

The missionary said: Oh, I am shocked to hear about the demise of Pastor John and Mr. Bruce; our community would surely miss them. I am sorry if I am repeating this; even though it is good to see you, I was hoping to see my dear brothers Bruce and Pastor John. That is fine. Can I speak with you then?

Pastor Michael said, come to my office; we can sit there and talk for a few minutes. So Jeremiah also went in with them to learn about this missionary.

The missionary explained the story of how Pastor John and Mr. Bruce invested their lives to reach thousands of people in Africa and how this Church was a huge part of leading his people to the Lord through their prayers, finances, and mostly with their teams that would come every year to be part of the outreach ministries.

Jeremiah said – sorry, sir, I have been here for nine years, but I have not heard once about you or even the African ministries. The missionary was disheartened. Then Pastor Michael said, oh, sorry, brother, you know how our Church is doing many things locally and how I am working on growing the Church and its various ministries. I said, “you know,” because I see our content in your hands, assuming you read about our ongoing ministries. The missionary said, yes sir, I see great work going on here. Then the Pastor said, sorry, I will have to attend other meetings, but it was good seeing you; we will pray for you.

Jeremiah was not happy. He was confused as to why Pastor Michael did not take the time to talk to the missionary or invite him to come to Church and share his burden.

Jeremiah reached out to his pockets, grabbed his wallet, gave the missionary a twenty-dollar bill, and said, I am sorry; this is all I have now. I hope this will help you a little bit. Can you please keep me posted about your ministry?

The missionary said, thank you, brother, but I do not need money. However, here is a brochure of our work. Please pray for the ministry.

Jeremiah noticed some sadness on the missionary’s face. He asked, should I speak to the Pastor on your behalf so you may come back and share your ministry with all of us? I am interested to learn all I can about your ministry, and maybe, someone from the Church would also love to hear what you have to say!

The missionary said, no, brother, this Church has changed a lot; I understand that passion and compassion for worldwide missions were gone with Pastor John and Mr. Bruce.
The missionary said Church is focused on local things, growing its ministries, and bringing in more people. None of this is wrong. But neglecting God’s work and His commandment to go out to all the world and make disciples is terrible. I hope this Pastor will one day realize that he must motivate the people of this Church to go out to the world and be witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah, saddened in his heart, he thought, is this what Church lacks today? He then turned to God in prayer.

Folks, the purpose of this story is to help you see the major issue in Church today. Many churches lost sight of God’s missions and are justifying their view of what they think is essential, such as big parking lots, more church members, more programs, more buses, more cars, more this, and more. The world doesn’t need any of what you are doing. The world needs Jesus. Can you give Jesus to the world?

Pastor, you are placed in this position to direct God’s people in God’s ways. Do not manipulate your Church from God’s purposes to your purpose. You will be held accountable before the Lord.

Church, wake up. Forget about who is wrong and right, whose theology is correct, and whose theology is false. Instead, focus on what is important; Jesus.
Share Jesus. Go or send someone to preach the Gospel to the lost.

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