by Jim Wall
No matter where you live in the world, there are more people around you who are not part of a God-loving, Bible-believing Christian church than are. The numbers are staggering. Less than 30% of Americans attend church on a given weekend, less than 20% of Canadians, less than 5% of Europeans, etc. The cultural impact is profound. We are facing a crisis of global proportions.
The cell church movement provides an excellent solution. Many of those who have given up on church will decline your invitation to attend a weekend service. They will accept your invitation to come to your home for a gathering of friends—even when those friends are believers and some of the conversation is about spiritual matters. While there, they’ll get to see how Christians genuinely care about each other. They’ll get to see authentic Christians caring about the needs of the community around them. They’ll get to see Jesus in a deeply personal way!
Sadly, many Christians who attend cell churches find it easier to invite Christians from other churches than build bridges to the lost souls around them. As a result, 86% of American churches are smaller today than 10 years ago. Of the 14% that are growing, 13% are simply gathering the people who are leaving the shrinking churches. Only 1% of American churches are growing by conversion growth!
That’s why I teach, “Never invite a member of an area church to your cell gathering.” I tell my students it is profoundly wrong to steal sheep from other flocks to populate their own. Just as importantly, filling one set of chairs by emptying another one is not going to turn the crisis we face around!
I’m sorry if this is depressing you. There is a solution. The original Acts 2 church was born in a world that knew very little about Jesus. It turned the world upside down in one lifetime and started a movement we benefit from today. My new book, Unmuted: Restoring Your Church’s Voice (available on Amazon) explores who those early Christians were and how they made a difference in the world. It is also filled with stories of 21st century Christians who are making a difference today.
Won’t you join me in becoming part of the solution? Let’s share the hope we have found in Jesus with the hopeless all around us.