Updated: Jun 1, 2021
So many people are worried about the United States of America. As a nation, we are declining, not rising:
Our out-of-control national debt load is now fourteen digits long, nearing thirty trillion dollars ($30,000,000,000,000);
Our prized free speech has been severely limited, even on college and university campuses where academic freedom has long been the hallmark of higher education;
Our schools from university level on down to preschool have sexualized the curriculum such that students are being indoctrinated to believe that immediate sexual pleasure and feelings of sexuality matter more than the search for honest truth;
Our unity (e pluribus unum) as a people is threatened by political differences so severe that family ties and friendships are daily being shredded by incivility;
32% of all practicing Christians in the USA no longer attend any church at all, not even online, according to Barna's latest findings.
The above listed bullet points are but five among many civilization-busting problems that we face as a nation right now. In saying this, my point is not political. My purpose, rather, is to highlight the high stakes context that I believe is here on account of a critical mass of Christians being off mission.
The biggest problem in America is that the capital “C” Church has gotten off mission. Denominations have drifted way off mission. Local churches are off mission. Individual believers are off mission.
We are so off mission that our worry seems to be more focused on what America can do for the Church than vice versa.
How will the church survive without the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?
How will the church stay open given the government overreach of church closures?
How will the church stay funded if the courts fine local churches huge sums?
How will the church be the Church without America here to protect it?
Friends, we have forgotten that our shared mission -- for all of us together from church to church and believer to believer -- is to “disciple” (Greek: μαθητεύσατε = mathēteusate) people
by baptizing and teaching them.
For those of you who plan on registering for New Testament Greek at Right On Mission that starts next month, you will soon see for yourself with your own eyes of understanding that the Greek grammar of the Great Commission literally says in the imperative, “Having gone, disciple!”
It does not say, “Making disciples, go!”
The emphasis is not on going. The active verb in the sentence is “disciple.”
Here’s what Jesus said:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Having gone, therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
So the real question is not: What can America do for the Church?
The real question is: What can the Church do for America?
And the answer is the same today as it has always been: We can disciple the people in America.
At Right On Mission, we offer a seminary-like Certificate in Disciplemaking comprised of graduate level courses -- like those when I taught in university, except we offer them for a price of about 40% to 85% less.
It’s time for American Christians to get on mission.
You can do this. You were “born again” to do this. We will help you. We’re not worried at all that you can’t do this because at Right On Mission, we believe God’s people can learn to think so Christianly that they find the moral courage to act with integrity as Christ followers, even in the face of opposition.
Sarah Sumner, Ph.D. MBA