While many faith leaders are discussing how to best lead their church in a post-COVID era, Francis Chan addressed the Exponential Reset Summit with a call to sacredness and a return to worship. He says this is vital, especially in light of many high-profile Christians leaving the church in recent days.
"I am seeing so many people, friends of mine who were in ministry, who are just saying they don't believe, or they're walking away," says Chan. "And I just think that's crazy. We're seeing people that we look up to, leaders, fall. We're seeing the world look at evangelical Christianity as an absolute joke right now. Every day you can just jump on Instagram ... and someone is saying, 'I'm not a Christian anymore.'"
The Crazy Love author encourages believers to get back to the root of their faith in Christ. Too many, Chan says, have fallen into the trap found in Isaiah 29:13 (NIV), which says, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught."
"Don't get away from your own encounter with God," he continues. "We have to make sure we get people to encounter Him, and that their fear of God is not just a commandment that was taught to them by us."
The problem comes when believers spend more time in the presence of leaders than in the presence of the Lord. Chan believes we must return to a "sacred and reverent silence and awe," and encourages Christians to recognize their "oneness" with God, especially as persecution abounds.
"The world is going to get worse; persecution is going to get worse. And when they're alone with Him, is there enough of this awe and enjoyment of Him, and a fear of Him, that they can survive anything?" he asks.
A recent study showed the ever-increasing polarity in how generations view faith and their expression of it. While much of the older generation has kept steady in their beliefs, the poll reveals Millennials have drifted, with 46% of the age group claiming they either don't know, don't care or don't believe God exists.
Of this growing trend, Dr. Michael Youssef, author of Hope for This Present Crisis, observes, "All across America and Europe, churches are emptying, and an entire generation is turning away from God. People today have many gods—money, pleasure, politics, the environment—but they no longer acknowledge the God of the Bible."
Youssef and Chan both agree American history is at a tipping point, and it's up to the church to spur Spirit-filled conversation that will draw lost and wandering souls back to biblical foundations.
"We have to direct people to Him," Chan says. "We have to do a better job of bringing sacredness back into our worship."
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