In thinking through the various responses and conversations that I've had, whether with pastors in India, Africa, Ireland, Guatemala, or Texas, we all seem to be facing something incredibly similar...
The culture and community has up and changed around the building of the church, and those claiming to be a part of the church, who at one time found it efficient and satisfactory to engage the paid professional minister to stand atop a high place and declare the word of the Lord and make "converts", or the build it and they will come mentality, are now the grandparents of the congregation. Church of the 50's was successful in bringing many to a "point of decision" but unequipped in equipping disciples. We saw them come forward, but we never sent them back out alongside another, coupled with older believers, firm in their faith, capable of teaching all things that Christ taught us.
Now, there is a world around us who has heard the Gospel already, become hardened by it even, and has yet to see those claiming to be the church live their faith beyond their decision to believe. They have pointed downward from their high places to the sins of sinners, forgetting from whence they came and where they still live.
The result? a view towards modern Christianity as hypocritical and judgmental religious jargon meant for the aged but not for the young, meant for a generation awaiting death and not one on the rise, facing a world of issues unseen by any generation yet, that still needs the answer of the daily Jesus, only found on the streets and in the homes and workplaces and schools of mankind, where we really live, and no longer the synagogues and temples where only Pharisees and Sadducees, scribes and elders, could safely trod beyond accountability, responsibility, and a faith to save a nation from captivity.
Only when the daily life of Christ becomes the daily life of saints, will the daily life of the seeking and lost and lame be reached again. The Christ of Scripture, found often in the temple but daily in our faces, with healing hands touched by our infirmities, seeking the gatherings of the lost more so than the culminations of the self-righteous congregations, asking men to lose their lives for His sake in order to find abundant life, is the Christ missing from those calling to fill the void of empty churches and pitiful pews. He stands still outside, knocking that He may enter, only in order to walk with us back outside into the places He Himself did walk, that a world that is still deeply seeking Him, may find Him in us again.
May our world see Christ in us today, hands and feet, hearts and minds, attitudes and actions, miracles and sacrifice, for in that we have only thought to build our own kingdoms, we have sought to destroy the potential of God's.