Jump directly to the content
May 3, 2012

Morning Roundup - May 3, 2012

The 10 Warning Signs of an Inwardly Obsessed Church -- Thom Rainer

Any healthy church must have some level of inward focus. Those in the church should be discipled. Hurting members need genuine concern and ministry. Healthy fellowship among the members is a good sign for a congregation.

But churches can lose their outward focus and become preoccupied with the perceived needs and desires of the members. The dollars spent and the time expended can quickly become focused on the demands of those inside the congregation. When that takes place the church has become inwardly obsessed. It is no longer a Great Commission congregation.

In my research of churches and consultation with churches, I have kept a checklist of potential signs that a church might be moving toward inward obsession. No church is perfect; indeed most churches will demonstrate one or two of these signs for a season. But the real danger takes place when a church begins to manifest three or more of these warning signs for an extended period of months and even years.

1. Worship wars

2. Prolonged minutia meetings

3. Facility focus

4. Program driven

5. Inwardly focused budget

6. Inordinate demands for pastoral care

7. Attitudes of entitlement

8. Greater concern about change than the gospel

9. Anger and hostility

10. Evangelistic apathy

Where Are All the Women Apologists? -- Jonalyn Fincher

Thousands of intelligent females argue daily for everything from atheism to Islam without hearing an articulate reason to believe otherwise. Because of this, we need more women on the cultural laywoman level dedicating their minds to understanding the cultural persuasiveness of non-Christian arguments, so that we can "always be ready to give an answer (Greek apologia) for the hope that is in us."

We need women who can understand and articulate what Jesus thinks about N.O.W., about Buddhist mums who seem to offer more compassion than Christians, about Fifty Shades of Gray. We need women to speak about a better way to educate youth groups about sexuality than, "Men are animals and women need to be modest." We need women to weigh in on why and what to do about Christianity's ability to both mend broken families and tear others apart.

As apologist Mary Jo Sharp explained in a recent interview, "We need philosophically and theologically sound women to debate and challenge organizations that seem to presuppose all women should naturally be in agreement with their philosophy and actions."

Related Topics:None
Posted:May 3, 2012 at 12:00 am


Please read our comment policy before you weigh in, and then feel free to comment.
To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

More From This Blog

Living in a (Nominal) Religious Context

Living in a (Nominal) Religious Context

Nominal religious contexts do not mean the end of the church.
Amplifying Evangelism—One Critical Component in Becoming an Engaging Church

Amplifying Evangelism—One Critical Component in Becoming an Engaging Church

If we want churches to be evangelistic, we need to emphasis evangelism.
The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness

The Christian Struggle with Mental Illness

Mental illness is not a subject Christians should run from.
Saturday is for Seminars—The Gideons and the Amplify Conference

Saturday is for Seminars—The Gideons and the Amplify Conference

The Gideons and Canada. What could be better?

Follow Ed Stetzer

Exchange Logo

On this week’s episode of The Exchange, Dr. Barry Corey, the President of Biola University, discusses Christian higher education and his latest book, Love Kindness: Discover the Power of a Forgotten Christian Virtue.

Cast: Ed Stetzer

Read ED Stetzer's Books

See All

Follow Christianity Today

Christianity Today
Morning Roundup - May 3, 2012