This may be a tough message that you absolutely need to hear!
I originally wrote this in response to a pastor's LinkedIn post about:
adapting to new post Covid ministry models, including a "Hybrid" online presence... because the church in America is in steady decline post Covid.
Reading back through what I wrote in response to his post... it became clear that it very much could be taken as a sharp rebuke. I didn't originally mean it that way and was about to delete it altogether... but since it is a message that needs to be spoken, well - here we go!
For most churches, Covid simply exposed what has brewing for years underneath their active hiding - the world around us doesn't want what we have made Jesus and His church into.
Ironically, we originally made Him and His church into something else, to supposedly make Him and His church more palatable to the world around us.
Look, the "market" is speaking. They have been telling us for years that they don't want the "product" that we are trying to serve them.
They need miracles. They need food. They need counsel. They need the power of God. They need healing. They need the manifest presence of Jesus. They need the Gospel, and they need us (and it) to go to them where they are.
They don't really want (or at all want) our invitations to our buildings (no matter if our building is old and small or large and brand new - no matter how good our coffee is or our paint looks or even how great our music is!).
Other than a few of the 12, there is no record of Jesus inviting anyone to anything.
He fasted and prayed, walked in the movement and power of the Holy Spirit, went to where the people were and served them-healed them-gave them what they needed, and then they came seeking Him.
He didn't invite people to the plain or the mount at 11am on a Tuesday to hear his awesome new sermon. And if that had been His lead-in into ministry, they probably would have never come. Sit with that fact for a moment.
They came because He had first gone to them, where they were at, preaching the Gospel, performing miracles, and meeting their needs.
This is why He didn't tell us to invite all the world and make disciples of everyone. He told us to GO INTO all the world and make disciples of everyone. (He also told us that we would do greater things than He did.)
What vision has He put in your soul? Pray it through (and keep praying), rally your folks with you in prayer, and then GO!