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5 Epidemics the Evangelical Church MUST Address

One of the very best ways to grow personally is to be 100 percent honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

I feel that way about the local church, and about the wider church.

At Connexus, where I serve as lead pastor, I remind our staff team regularly of two things:

1. We should be our church’s biggest fans and most honest critics. I believe the combination of the two helps us to stay encouraged while we relentlessly work on whatever needs to be fixed. And something pretty much always needs to be fixed.

2. We get paid to see the cracks. Even though we’re fortunate to have a healthy, growing church, we have days where all we seem to do is spot problems and try to figure out how to fix them. But here’s the benefit. If the paid leadership of the church does this, then everyone else ends up with a much better experience and healthier church. If the paid leadership (and elders) ignore them, everyone suffers.

Shouldn’t we apply the same level of vigilance to the wider church? If you stay healthy, you’ll ward off any issues before they reach epidemic proportions.

Today’s post is about five epidemics I see impacting the evangelical church. (My last post was about five epidemics impacting the mainline church.) I’ve served in both settings and love the church too much to ignore these trends.

A healthy church is an effective church.

Here are the five epidemics the evangelical church must address:

1. Pride. 

Many, but certainly not all, evangelical churches are growing. And with growth can come pride. And even when churches aren’t growing, there can be a pride about ‘being right’ about doctrine.

Pride edges God out of churches and turns people off. The self-righteousness pride induces is the opposite of authentic Christianity. We need to repent of our pride.

2. Judgment. 

So many people feel judged by Christians and the church. Judgment springs from pride. It’s centred on the false belief that somehow we got in or get to stay in because we deserve it.

That’s just not true and makes a mockery of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. How many people do we lose every year because they feel like Christians think they are better than everyone else?

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.