“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”– unknown
This quote has been attributed to many people including Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, and Mark Twain. There’s no evidence any of them said it, though the general consensus is someone intelligent must have said it. Most would agree with the premise of this quote.
The church, however, seems to think itself immune to this idea. In the last 50 years we’ve seen an incredible decline in the influence and impact of the church. In that time church attendance in America went from roughly 60% of the population to around 10%. Yet so often we hear people in our church wishing the “glory days” back.
Why would we go back and do the same things we were doing when we saw the church decline in number, impact, and relevancy? Why would we call those the “glory days” at all? Were the “glory days” when we saw the power and majesty of our God at work on a regular basis within our churches? Or, when we refer to “glory days”, are we referring to when we had things the way we wanted them, when our preferences were being met?
We must change the way many of us view church, the Christian life, evangelism, etc. We must have an entire paradigm shift. We must break down the walls in our minds between the secular and sacred. We must stop viewing evangelism and gospel advancement as a program or strategy. We must stop looking to the church to fix the world and advance the kingdom of God alone.
There needs to come a time in our lives when we accept the command of Jesus to go and make disciples was not only for pastors and missionaries. The command to go and make disciples was for every single person that calls Jesus Lord. We each have a personal responsibility to be the light of the world we were meant to be.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. “– 2 Peter 1:3
We have everything we need…except maybe for a desire to make a change.
Maybe that’s where our prayers need to start. Not for eloquence, but desire.