PowerPoint Sermons: A Wake Up Call…?

Thu, Jun 16, 2011

Eternal Life, The Church Body

Welcome To This Week’s PowerPoint Bible Lessons Update On The New PowerPoint Sermons Blog!

 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

There was an article that came out in USA Today last week that was very disturbing. Maybe you saw it too. “The title is Nation’s largest Protestant group faces ‘decline’”. Now I’m not one to jump to conclusions based on an article in a newspaper, but there is something true about the data listed in this article. The article states several things that jolted me into a reality. Some of those facts are: – Baptisms fell to their lowest number in 60 years among Southern Baptists – This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline. – In 2010, Southern Baptists baptized 332,321 people, or 17,416 fewer than in 2009. – This marks the eighth time in 10 years that baptisms have declined and the lowest number of baptisms since the 1950s. It goes on to mention the reasons for such a decline. Among these reasons are 2 serious problems that I see as a Christian in today’s world. The 2 reasons that are listed are: 1. They “have lost their enthusiasm for evangelism — the practice of bringing new people into the faith.” 2. They “love to talk about evangelism as long as someone else is doing it.”  

Now if you’re a Southern Baptist, the article I’m writing today is NOT targeted at you. I believe if this study were to be performed on Christianity as a whole, we’d see some of the same data, accompanied by some of the same mindset. It is disturbing.

Christianity is not the same as other religions. We don’t force people to join and threaten people’s lives if they convert to another faith. (Yes. This happens.)
We don’t follow the teachings or lifestyle of a man who walked the earth and never raised from the dead.

We don’t believe in converting through violence.
We believe there is ONE God, who sent ONE Man, who died for MY sins, and we can reach Heaven by way of ONLY this ONE Man.
We know Him as Jesus Christ.

As Christians, it’s time to get up, find the passion that once lived in us, the passion that doesn’t die. This passion is what we’re called to claim. This passion is what we’re called to share. This passion is a passion in the God of ALL God’s. He lives in us. He works through us. And He has called us to a Commission.

He Was Given The Authority (Matthew 26:18)
He has been given ALL authority in Heaven and on Earth. We can be sure that He is who we should be following and sharing with others.

We Were Given The Commission (Matthew 28:19)
Do we believe Jesus when He said He has the authority? If we do, then we have been given a Commission. THE Commission. The Great Commission. It IS Great too. It’s great because we are able to share the Good News with our neighbors. It is great because it’s a great responsibility. And it’s great because the enormity of the job. It’s NO SMALL task. It’s an enormous job, duty, and privlege. If we believe and obey, we must take this seriously. We must do it.

The World Is Given A Choice (Matthew 28:20)
This verse says we must teach them to obey everything that has been taught to us. This means we must teach them as well. We can’t make the choice for them though. We plant the seed. God produces the harvest. How many times have you heard that? It’s true. But another thing is true. If there aren’t any seeds being planted, can there be a harvest?

What a wake up call this is.

Is Christianity on the decline in our world?

Is there a loss of Jesus Christ in our culture?

Will we see this same study done in another 10 years to see that Christianity is all but eliminated in the homes of our nation?

Thankfully, that study has yet to be performed. So the results are still out for discovery.

It can be written right now though. The foundation can be laid for a serious revival in our nation, in our communities, in our homes, and even in our hearts.

Blessings,
Mark

P.S. If you would like to read the article that I am referring to, you can read it here:  Article About Baptism Decline

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3 Responses to “PowerPoint Sermons: A Wake Up Call…?”

  1. Clyde Says:

    Mark,
    This is a shame and a black mark against those of us who call ourselves Christians.

    As you have heard me say in the past I believe there is only one solution to this problem. We MUST get away from todays modernist preaching and get back to powerful heart changing Holy Spirit filled preaching.

    Most of today’s Pastors are preaching a watered down Gospel which results in weak, watered down Christians. We are not being told, from the pulpit, we MUST go out to the highways and hedges and compell them to come in.

    I believe if the Pastors in this country will go back to preaching the old fashion message we will start seeing the same results in old fashion salvations and baptisms.

    That is of course only my opinion,
    Dr. Clyde

  2. Don Says:

    I wish I could agree with Dr Clyde, but I don’t think the Gospel is being watered down any more now than it has been in the past. I’d say most preachers are biblically sound people who are earnest in their faith and never get any press reports, and the few “watered down” people seem to be in the news all the time.

    Notice that even the article states that present baptism rates were as low in the 1950s, so the trend is not new. All of life seems to run in cycles, including the willingness of people to be open to the Gospel message.

    We do not need to return to “old fashioned message.” The Gospel is timeless and should not be locked in any particular era. However, we do need new, relevant methods to present the Gospel. That includes PowerPoint, web sites, effective text messaging, software for mobile devices and many other means.

    My respect to Dr Clyde, but it’s up to the Holy Spirit to convict and convert the lost. It is our responsibility to deliver the message in a way that will gain the attention of people who are already in a state on media overload.

    People are already being overwhelmed by media from the entertainment industry, news outlets, politicians, product sales people and others. Our Gospel message is fine. We just need effective methodologies to cut through the media clutter. People will no longer come to hear preaching in a church unless we gain their attention first.

    We delude ourselves when we blame “modernist preaching” for the failure to reach people with the Gospel. If we are a biblical people, we can only blame ourselves for our failure to fulfill the Great Commission. Yes, we must “we MUST go out to the highways and hedges and compel them to come in.” According to a recent CBS 60 Minutes report, a survey has been done which says 27% of the people in churches first decided to attend after visiting the church web site. That speaks volumes.

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