This art byJon Birch of ASBO Jesus says it all about our current state of the church and mission.
Regarding many of our old and struggling mainline churches, Daniel P. Smith and Mary K. Sellon says:
Declining congregations have lost connection with the Christian church’s basic mission of helping people experience God and live the gospel message of life and hope. Without this sense of mission to keep the congregation focused beyond the doors of the church, the congregation turns inward and loses connection with its community. Before others will turn to a congregation as a life-giving resource in their lives, the congregation has to be a place that offers life. When traveling by plane, passengers are reminded that in the event of an emergency they should put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. In congregational renewal, a congregation reminds itself of and intentionally engages in the basic practices of Christianity. It realigns itself with the basic outward-focused mission of church. (From: Pathway to Renewal, Alban, 2008)
How and where do we start bridging the gulf, tearing down the walls, and reaching out to the unchurched?
We, or God rather, may have to wake up the institutional church from its deep slumber first before it can do anything. Some may have already given up hope on the institutional church doing its part in God’s mission. Sometimes, I do feel that way. I hope your churches and congregations are more active in mission and evangelism than some of our mainline churches.
What are you and your churches doing in the area of mission and evangelism?