Awhile back, my wife and I attend a worship service at a church I served as assistant minister right after graduation from Princeton Seminary. A prestigious church, with a membership of over 1500. Had a pastoral and administrative staff of about 20. Weekly staff meetings. Lots going on. Much to do. But something was missing.
Back to that worship service. Instead of two services, they now have one. The choir sounds good. I recognize some church members from the past. It’s good to see them. But what happened to the church that now has 60-70 at worship?
One of my former youth group members asks me why mainline churches are in decline. Imagine she has her own in mind. What has happened?
Didn’t know what to say, for I’ve been off the scene for many years. However now I can see more clearly what has been missing which has taken such a toll. What is it?
I don’t remember ever hearing an altar call, an invitation to accept Christ. Seems as if we assume that all attending must be believers. Were they? How would we know? Like planning a party but forgetting to invite anyone, wondering why no one shows up. Could that be what’s missing? The invitation?
Psalm 132:15-16–‘I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.’ The next verse is key to what’s missing– ‘Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy’ (Psalm 132: 16).
Pastors sharing salvation. Extending the invitation. Not assuming that others know Him, fearing to leave them behind. What a shame to miss out on the very best that God has for us… and our churches!
Lord, make us bold to share Jesus’ salvation with others. Amen.