"Bottom line - we are about one generation from having our churches becoming as irrelevant as they are in Europe. Keep your church strong using prayer and support. They continue to be our greatest hope."
If you are a believer, you have heard his many times before. Your church is under attack. Big time. From where? All over. Seen and unseen. But if you get can grow your church big enough, it will be immune from any attack. Right? Not so fast. This is a posting I have been hesitant to write - but it needs to be done. My only purpose is to show how serious this attack is. And it ain't pretty.
My wife and I have been going from time to time to the Twin Cities biggest megachurch. How big is it? Right now, it is about the 11th largest church in the country. That is good and bad at the same time. Before we went there, we spend many fine years at a large Lutheran Church in Ramsey. Although different than the megachurch, this Lutheran Church and the megachurch had one thing in common. Both senior pastor's deeply respected and followed the lead pastor of a much larger and more famous megachurch in Chicago - Willow Creek.
The senior pastor at Willow Creek, who grew this church to a gargantuan size, was very, very gifted. Bill Hybels was a teaching pastor (and senior pastor) at Willow Creek who taught other teaching pastors. I never met him, nor saw him in person. But I did see him many times on a video tapes, used for teaching. Seriously - when the name of Bill Hybels was mentioned in most any church, it was almost like talking about a saint. Yes, Pastor Hybels was that good.
I guess I have not been keeping up that closely on what is going on. In USA Today, there was a story about the senior pastor and the staff all resigning at Willow Creek due to an alleged cover up of the former senior pastor misdeeds. Former senior pastor? Yes - Bill Hybels was listed as the former senior pastor. He had to resign due to some alleged sexual improprieties. Sound familiar? It should. It happens in churches more than it should. It is Satan's number one way to rid a church of an effective leader. Then the collateral damage is huge.
Now, Bill Hybels is gone. His next in line, and his staff is gone. What a huge hit to a large and effective church like Willow Creek. But here is the kicker. If you believe that attacks can only come from the "seen world", you are fooling yourself. These attacks most often come from the "unseen world". Attacks by Satan, to take out the most powerful, the most influential. Now Bill Hybels is gone. One of the most effective leaders in the modern day Christianity - gone.
BTW - don't think for a second it is just the "unseen world" which is attacking our churches. Look at what has happened in Syria, what is happening in Nigeria, what is happening in China. And there are more. Christianity is under attack all over the world.
One more thing, if I may be impolitic. There is a percentage of Muslims who hate Christians. Who are still fighting the Crusades. Those who would rather kill us than live with us. Not all of them - but some of them. Look at the house in New Mexico, the FBI recently discovered. It was going to be a house of death, and no more.
I have said this for years. A strong church is one who supports and prays for their leaders. The higher you go in a church, the brighter the bulls eye is on your back. Trust me - I have seen it - I have felt it.
Bottom line - we are about one generation from having our churches becoming as irrelevant as they are in Europe. Keep your church strong using prayer and support. They continue to be our greatest hope.