The Christian Church looks a lot like Detroit. Detroit is a city that to most of the world appears dead and dying. The buildings are abandoned, the windows are boarded up, and the yards are left unkept. The city may have once had its day of influence, but those days are long gone as the city has now declared bankruptcy. Detroit may have been something, but those days are past. People still like to talk about Detroit. The media will still send reporters into the city, filmmakers will come and showcase the city, and photographers will be excited to photograph the abandoned buildings. But while people are interested in talking about Detroit, far fewer are interested in making their home in Detroit.
The Church is seen the same way.
Christianity is seen as a dead and dying religion.
There may have been a day when Christians had influence, but those days are gone. Christianity may have, at one point, been important, but it is now ancient and irrelevant. Our churches are seeing as worthless and out-of-touch with reality. They might as well be boarded up and left to rot. People still love to talk about the Church. The media loves to showcase stories about the Church, especially when somebody represents the Church poorly. But while people are interested in talking about the Church and spiritual things, nobody is interested in making their home in the Church.
"The spiritual temperature has changed very suddenly in the United States. For many years, the None population was small — a mere 5 to 7 percent. Then it exploded quickly. This is very different from what happened in Europe. There, unbelief warmed up slowly, as if in a Crock-Pot. In the US, unbelief has warmed up as if in a microwave. While unbelief is heating up, belief is cooling down. The percentage of Christian converts is not keeping pace with our growing population as unbelief overtakes Christianity.” - Mark Driscoll, A Call to Resurgence
Which leads Driscoll to ask the question, “Will Christianity have a funeral or a future?"
Not Done Yet
An interested thing happened around the time that the city of Detroit declared bankruptcy. While the outside world looked in at Detroit and saw a city dying and broken, a group of young people saw something different. A group of people believed that the city of Detroit was not done yet. A group of people, with the desire to bring the X-Games to Detroit, passionately created a movement of young people who believed that there was still hope for the city of the Detroit. A group of people who believed that creativity, innovation, generosity, and generosity was not done in the city of Detroit. And so while people all over the country watched a city in ruins, a group of people said, “This is our city. And we are not done yet.”
To-date, the X Games have served as a rallying point for us, and we imagined that upon winning the X Games they would be a medium through which we could express and perpetuate the ever-growing vitality of our city in front of a global audience. - Kevin Krease
And later on their twitter, the three simple words:
Not done yet. - @AssembleDetroit
I believe the Church is not done yet. I believe that while the Church may not be popular or cool, the Church still carries the message of the Gospel that is needed in our world. And while Christians may be seen as out-of-touch, I believe that the Gospel is never out-of-touch with broken, sinful people. The church is not done yet, because God is not done yet. And so America may not be a Christian nation, but the Gospel was not given to a nation, it was given to the Church.
And so the world might see Jesus as irrelevant, old-fashioned, or juvenile.
But I believe He is not done yet.
Photo Credit: Rick Harris