Sermon: Being and Making Disciples

84Sermon Text: Matthew 28:16-20

Sermon Excerpt

Earlier this week, I read an article about the big shifts in the global religious landscape.  This piece offered many significant facts based on the Pew Research Center’s recent comprehensive demographic study of religion in over 230 countries and territories.

Their research finds that 84% of all people in the world today practice a religion.   Christianity is the world’s largest religion, and it is a majority religion in 157 countries.

Despite these seemingly positive measures, there is cause for concern.  This challenging reality is especially true the closer we get to our own geographical location.

Consider the recent remark by New York Times best-selling author Frank Schaeffer who critiqued both the evangelical and progressive forms of Protestant Christianity stating that “The problem with North American Christianity is not the window-dressing – it’s the whole package.”

Consider the current summary of the state of the American church by someone who oversees research about the topic as the President of LifeWay Research.  Ed Stetzer recently wrote that the church is not dying as some suggest, but is in a time of transition.

Consider the latest Gallup survey.  The results show that nearly 4 out of every 5 (77%) respondents believe that religion is losing its influence on American life.

Consider the rise of the religiously non-affiliated – the group frequently referred to as the nones . . . (read the full manuscript)

So What?

The Great Commission is about disciples making disciples.  It is a call to be authentic followers of the way of Jesus, and to share that experience with others.

  • What do you understand the Great Commission to mean in 2013? for you as a person of faith? for your local congregation?
  • How is your answer above informed or influenced by the Reformation principle that “the church is always reformed, always reforming?”

 

 

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