This is a famous quote from the cartoon, Pogo. It was used for an Earth Day emphasis back in 1971. The cartoon pictures Pogo and his friend looking around, where they are standing, at all the trash everywhere. The cartoon shows the realization that they are the ones who caused the litter, hence, they did it. They are the enemy.
In 2012, ICOM led a nationwide tour asking questions to provoke conversations about what is keeping us from completing the Great Commission. In 10 cities across the United States, the most stated response was a cultural problem. The Church in America is struggling and we cannot keep our focus of reaching the lost. For many years, the Church in America has been a world leader in sending missionaries all over the world. Our nation is changing in ways that are affecting our ability to stay strong in reaching the world with the good news of Jesus. To discover that we are contributing to the problem instead of the solution makes me think, “we are the enemy”.
The Reset Tour taught us many things that as people spoke out across the nation, we were thrilled to see their observations. Conclusions from the data came out in statements like:
- Prayer must be a priority.
- We need to learn to collaborate, to strategize how we can work smarter and more efficiently.
Other points were made that were surprising:
- We need to find new funding models. This came from an idea of a question that popped up; what happens when the US churches cannot give anymore?
- We need to learn how to do short term missions better.
- We do not have a handle on recognizing that people of other religions are not the enemy of Jesus. We just have not learned how to love them yet.
The bottom line came down to making disciples. The Church has focused more on making
converts and less on walking how Jesus walked. For years, even decades, many members of all kinds of churches have sat in church and not only have they not matured in Christ, but they have rarely even shared their faith with anyone.
The Church needs to rethink how we make disciples. Someone once said, “sitting in church doesn’t make me more of a Christian than sitting in McDonald’s makes me more like a Big Mac.” I know this is a cliché, but this has been our typical mode of operation. This must change if we want to become a leader in sending out disciples again!
Check out the book, “4 Chair Discipling” by Dann Spader. We are launching a Reset 2 Tour in which we hope to show and tell about how Jesus made disciples. We will have an ICOM Pre-Con devoted to this idea of making disciples in Richmond called the “Muvement Seminar.” It will be held all day Thursday and is only a $25 fee for the full day (which includes a copy of Dann’s book!). Check the 2015 Sneak Peek & the ICOM website for more details! www.theicom.org