Like many of my colleagues I think a lot about the “state”of the Christian church. Not only our particular denomination, Christian Science, but Christianity as a whole. What I’m about to share are my thoughts only, it does not represent my colleagues, many of who will be hearing these particular thoughts for the first time. And keep in mind, I’m just a Jewish kid from Baltimore.
Many folks in the religion business see declining numbers in church membership and attendance. I don’t. I see a different picture. I should tell you that I spent the majority of my career prior coming to work for the church as a business consultant. I was very focused in one specific area and that was to get an objective view of the company. The next phase was to let them know what I saw, which 99.9% of the time was different from what they saw. That was the easy part, because then I had to help them re-structure, organize and implement change. Or as we like to call it the “kicking and screaming phase.”
Back to the Christian church…
So where most people see declining numbers, I don’t. OK, Adam, what gives? In order for me to get a true objective view I need to look at three things:
1. Current reality
We already know that the “client” sees the company in decline. So I need to look at how the company started and what their vision is. So for my client, Christianity, I look to the company By-Laws, which starts with the Gospel according to St. Matthew in the New Testament. Interesting footnote in chapter 1:21 it says, “she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS. By Chapter 5 Jesus is giving the Sermon on the Mount! The Christ is instantaneous!
And then it hits me, Christianity in its purest form is the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer. That IS the beginning of Christianity. OK, so what was the Vision? Meekness, mercifulness, being a peacemaker, rejoicing, letting your light shine for other men, healing the sick, forgiving men their trespasses and your heavenly Father will also forgive you. In a nut shell, to love your brother from another mother!
Now back to number 1, current reality. I don’t see declining numbers. I see us at the foot of that mountain humbly on our knees ready to live that vision. The numbers aren’t declining, they are primitive. To be more specific, our numbers are: Matthew 6:10—Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. According to those numbers, it looks to be a promising year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!