Three statistics worth reviewing on the state of the mission of Jesus include:
- Globally, the percentage of the world’s population that have become Christian remains about the same
- Most churches stall-out after the first generation
- Few churches plant churches
A natural question to ask is “why?” – “Why do disciplemaking + church planting movements stall out?” Here are 10 markers that you might have observed:
- Convoluted understanding of what is going on in the world – this goes beyond “vision”, it has more to do with a relevant approach to making disciples that results in disciples making disciples + new churches planting churches.
- Stories from the good ‘ol days – recent stories of disciplemaking + church planting are non-existent.
- Church decline – the current models of disciplemaking + church planting have attracted the low lying fruit and it is no longer an issue of “working harder & smarter!”
- Financial mismanagement – more and more money is going to “church consumer-like” expenditures in exchange for disciplemaking + church planting efforts.
- Relational disengagement – apprentices of Jesus have stopped gathering in small groups or the groups they are meeting in have lost a missional focus.
- Theological apathy – an underlying theological bias that over-shadows or dismisses the need for a Savior-Redeemer.
- Ego-driven leadership – more attention is garnered by the personality of the leader than the pursuit of genuine Kingdom fruit.
- Celebrations cease – achievements are celebrated that have little to do with the Gospel of Jesus and the making of disciples.
- Faulty missiology – such as:
- an “either-or” orientation to mission e.g. local OR global mission
- an “either-or” orientation to growth e.g. church growth (quantitative) OR church health (qualitative)
- an “either-or” orientation to outreach e.g. attractional OR missional
- Apostate teaching – Gospel-centric focus has been lost in the cultural distractions of secular thinking
This is certainly not meant to be an exhaustive list. But it does capture some of the essential reason that stall-out disciplemaking + church planting movements, from my experience. You probably have others that you would include in the list…
I’d love to read some of your views.
- Does this match-up with your experience?
- What’s missing?
Please continue the conversation below and feel free to share this with you friends.
Gary, I agree on your list. Great summary.
Thank you Gary. Coming from you that means a lot. I am curious, would you add anything to the list?