Does The Church Have A Future In America?

Does the church have a future in America?

In light of the recent election, many people are asking about the future of the church. I have just spent two days working closely with pastors and members of Southern Baptist Churches in Louisiana.

Four thoughts stand out to me. All of them probably contain more good news than bad.

First, pastors and lay people are convinced that the playing field has shifted in America.  No longer do church leaders believe the church has an advantage. Actually, most assume the church in America now works at a disadvantage to society.

The only way I disagree with this has to do with the belated realization that this is the case. The election did not involve seismic activity or tectonic shifts. This election simply confirmed what has been happening for decades–America has been a changing nation. No longer do we have a culture which accepts biblical morality and ethics. In fact, many Americans do not have much understanding of what a biblical worldview looks like.

Second, pastors and lay people are convinced the church is the hope of the world and the only hope for America. Most of the people I talked with understand that government cannot bring righteousness  to our country. They understand that the church is our hope and we must really be the church.

Third, pastors and lay leaders understand the church must step up with the good news. This may be the most hopeful sign of all. Now, we all understand we can no longer sit back and hope things get better. America will get better only as individuals get to know the One who created them.

Fourth, people in our lost, hurting, and dying world must have the church. As the world gets worse, the real hope will become more apparent. The church should prepare to reach young families and hurting families. Those who are sick need healing. As culture deteriorates, people will look for real answers. In a world of counterfeit, the authentic will stand out.

It is not time for the church to be depressed; it is time for the church to stand up.

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8 Comments


  1. Ed Matthew
    Nov 14, 2012

    Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done
    on earth as it is in Heaven!
    Feet to prayers in combination with knees and face for the Lord is a good idea in concert.
    Blessings.


  2. Bethellen
    Nov 14, 2012

    Amen! ALL of us have a job to do and we MUST be involved in doing it. Thank you for your leadership.


  3. Jerry G
    Nov 14, 2012

    We’ve seen the movement away from God making headway for a long time – it didn’t come like a ravenous wolf in the night. But I think this election moved the line more clearly toward Satan – the differences were clear, but the vote went his way regardless. OUR mission hasn’t changed though. We still need to lead as many home as we can. It’s time for the Church to focus on Jesus above all else, to do the very best we can to bring light to this darkening world.


  4. Jim Garlington
    Nov 14, 2012

    Thank you! Very accurate and extemely well said. From being at most of the LBC I totally agree with your observations.


    • Waylon
      Nov 14, 2012

      Thanks. Sorry we didn’t get to talk–they kept me busy and out of the hallways!


  5. The Millers
    Nov 14, 2012

    AMEN! Forward>! Church.


  6. Ole
    Nov 16, 2012

    Thanks, there is some very good food for thought here. My first thought however, is that our nation and the lost don’t need church, they need Jesus. I believe that sometimes our ineffectual and dysfunctional churches stand in the way.

    I believe in the church, and I believe that the church must be the instrument to carry the message of Christ to the lost of our nation. I believe that the church needs to demonstrate the love of Jesus to our world. We are the body. If not us then who?

    But, let’s not get confused. The world needs Jesus, it doesn’t need our churches. Instead, the world needs the church to be the body of Christ reaching out with the truth of the Good News.


  7. Ole
    Nov 16, 2012

    Jerry G:

    Were the choices clear or did we clearly not have a good choice?

    It came down to Obama and a Mormon, as evangelical Christians we didn’t get a candidate nominated to run for a viable party.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. — Galatians 4:4-5 (NIV)