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Oct 03 2007

Paul Kim on the Greatest Need in the American Church

Question: What is the greatest, most crying need in the American church today?

Response from Paul Kim, Senior Pastor, Open Door Presbyterian Church, Herndon, VA

1) To present the gospel in a way that is clear and understandable by our current unchurched culture and generation. In the past generation of unchurced, there were some traces of Christian foundations/framework. We had some "base points" between church and non-Christians. BUT NOW, there is not only an absence of Christian foundation but even some barbed skepticism/mistrust towards Christianity. Perhaps this change is due to a growing pluralistic, Western, Post-Modern movement. Whatever the cause may be, we should be willing to speak the language of our culture–without compromising the message of the gospel.

2) Brokenness. A poverty of Spirit that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5. I think for the most part, American churches struggle with arrogance and self-satisfaction. Perhaps because this is the richest nation and life is so comfortable, we have a tendency to ignore the messy parts of life. People go to church in denial, and then so many sermons are full of trivialities that just gloss over real problems. People are getting worse. People are falling deeper into addictions. Families keep breaking up. The spiritual emptiness in America only grows more severe. And unless churches model what it means to be vulnerable, real, authentic and truly broken–what hope is there for people looking for something that is not superficial and false?

3) Willingness to Suffer. A theology of Suffering. The American dream has made the church fat, convenient, safe. I thank God that we live in a nation where we are free to worship. But its come to a point where Christians don’t want to suffer at all, even when the gospel calls for it.

4) Biblical Teaching. More expositional, expository preaching that is grounded in DEEP study of Scripture.

Responses graciously facilitated courtesy of The Gospel Coalition

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