When I became a Christian, I was taught that, like a pebble in the pond, The Church is not only a gathering place but a point of impact meant to transform us one by one into the image of Christ; causing waves of His Love and Grace to flow out from us and into the world.I was taught that Christians are the light of the world. I was taught that our job is to light the way for others by the way we live as disciples of Jesus.
We are the people of God. We should be known for our repentance, kindness, generosity and loving acceptance yet we are more widely known as hateful, judgmental hypocrites whose “love” for others ends at the edge of the church parking lot.
So I began to question; is it that we're being persecuted or are we really just being confronted about the disparities between who we SAY we are and how we are actually showing up in our families, our neighborhoods, our workplaces and elsewhere in the world?
Are we being still being impacted by the messages we hear on Sunday mornings?
Are we being transformed?
Or are we simply gathering?
So, I gathered some of my most trusted and respected Christian friends and shared my concerns. Guess what? They were all feeling the same way! Some had already stopped attending church on a regular basis because it no longer seemed to be adding anything meaningful to their lives.These are committed Christians! Then I discovered that more than 40,000 more Christians are doing the same thing every month. This is a big problem.We need to talk about this!
I knew I wanted to start a national conversation about the health and reputation of The Church (that's capital C; meaning the big WE. All our local churches rolled into one) but I didn't know how. I may be a devoted Christian.. but I'm not a famous one! How could I get people to listen?
After a LOT of prayer a friend came to me and said that I should write a book about it. Soon after that, another friend suggested I make it a documentary too. Wow! That's a BIG vision. Could I pull it off? Nope. No way. Not unless God went before me and opened all the right doors.
Be careful what you pray for. With each new door that opened I got more excited and more humbled. "Oh my gosh this is really happening!"
In 2014 I took a small film crew from Barstow CA to Wilmington NC along I40 filming interviews with pastors, staff, church members and even people on the street to to see how other people felt about the health and reputation of the Christian Community in the United States.
We need to understand why we have so many people in our community who are not much more “like Christ” than they were when they first met Him. It’s time we understand and face up to the attitudes and practices that have hurt our reputation and, let's face it, hurt a lot of other people too.
Through the creation and distribution of the book and documentary, “40 Churches in 40 Weeks TM my journey of faith and hope for the Church in America.” we hope to engage thousands of Christians and begin a movement to raise the bar on what it means to be a Follower of Jesus Christ.
Only when we succeed in this can we elevate the reputation of The Church and infuse it with the strength and health it needs to have the impact on the world it was intended to have.
If you would like to see the Christian Community become healthier, unified and Christ honoring than please make this YOUR Journey too. Help us to further the reach of our project by engaging with us on Social media by Liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and encouraging your friends to do so too.
The poor health and reputation of The Church in the United States has become our greatest obstacle to evangelizing the world around us. It’s time for us to do better.
It's time to raise the bar on what it means to be a Christian. Let's do it together!
In His love and service,