Next Generation Church: Are you ready to face the giants?
Have you ever heard a teaching series in your Church intended to make you aware of all the serious issues facing your society and help you prepare to do something about it? Do you know of any church that has a strategic plan to love your neighbour while expanding opportunities for evangelism by taking on the big issues of our day? Can you even conceive of or accept that any of this matters? Perhaps you think it has nothing to do with the Church.
If that’s the case you won’t be spending much time on this site. The NGC model and strategy for church growth is about leveraging off the times in which we live to provide societal visionary leadership using a counter-cultural and transformational set of 12 reforms aimed at bringing down the two giants – the creeds of liberalism and neo-liberal corporatism. If you think that has nothing to do with the western Church’s mission you would be profoundly wrong. Christianity created the most successful civilisation in human history because it grew around the faith’s core world view principles – free will, we are all made in God’s image, individual responsibility, love our neighbour and love God by obeying his commands.
Now it is threatened with collapse because what I like to call the two giants are adamantly opposed to Christianity. They have worked in concert to replace Christianity with a man-centred world order that insists we evolved by chance. There is nothing beyond death. Our lives have no ultimate meaning. We are merely accumulations of enzymes destined for extinction in a cosmos that will eventually share the same fate. The two giants are two priesthoods because both claim to have replaced God with an existentially materialist world view. In short the western Church is facing the ultimate idolatry. A replacement atheistic religion that is doing everything God says he hates (read Proverbs 6 and Isaiah 59).
If you and your Church want to uphold the Christ’s cause – the great commission, the two giants must be confronted. If western Christians fail to act they will have done nothing to ‘till the soil’ of evangelism. They will have been less than effective as salt and light. They will have gone the way of the Churches at Ephesus and Laodicea. They will have ignored the clear message of the parables of the minas and the talents.
If you and your church are to meet this challenge prepare to take on the giants. Become conversant with what is happening in western societies that oppose the will of God and his precepts. Train to become effective evangelists, or apologists or discipling mentors. Adopt the NGC strategy. Of this you can be certain: if you prosecute the NGC strategy these things will happen:
· You and your church will find yourselves engaged in a big –picture crusade for the reformation of western civilisation, but it is not a political crusade - it’s a fight for souls waged on the stage of ideas with the potential to change lives and history. While the Church uses the 12 Reforms to bring attention to itself by reengaging with society in the public square to save souls it will also be triggering a reformation in thinking about how the West needs to recover itself.
· You will recognise those in your church called with the skills and motivation to be in the vanguard of the NGC strategy.
· You will realise early in the piece that you must know why the 12 reforms are important – they are the means to bring down the two giants.
· You will also realise how important it is to be skilled in presenting the gospel, defending the faith and discipling new converts because the 12 reform NGC strategy is designed to get local communities interested in the Christianity again. When that happens you better be ready to play a part. I suggest you click on The Problem on lastpost.net and then click on the third challenge – a weak western Church. On that page you will find 20 background pieces on the Church. Open the ‘Can they’ piece for suggestions on how Christians and pastors should be ‘upskilling’ to meet the challenges facing the Church’s mission.
· You will likely see you church face persecution because the two giants will not sit idly by and allow their key dogmas to be challenged. However, they will find counter-attacking the Church difficult because most of the twelve reforms (with the exception of Reform 7) lie outside the direct reach of political correctness – racism, homophobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, misogyny and identity politics. They will resort instead to derision and quasi-legal means to shut churches down. They will attack charity status, seek to isolate individual Christians using employment law, undermine Christian businesses and clamp down on Christian’s free speech using some sort of public good claim, or hate speech legislation.
If you go to the free books on Lastpost.net you have a ready resource for coming to grips with our times (1 Chron 12:32) and knowing what to do about it. They are a racing start for any individual or Church. I’ve also made available all the materials needed for a one day workshop on the NGC strategy, spring-boarding off my third book NGC.
If the Western Church fails to come to terms with the fact that it has been languishing in a wilderness of cultural irrelevance, severely limiting its ability to prosecute the great commission. It will remain in that wilderness and it will remain part of the problem. The NGC strategy is the way forward.