Why is there such an urgency?
Today, the total number of U.S. congregations has slipped from13,174 in1990 to 11,965 in 2018. (Churches of Christ in the United States 2018 Edition.) That means a net loss of 1209 churches in the last 28 years, an average of 43 churches that closed their doors per year. In the same 28 years, the population of the United States rose to 325 million from 250 million! To make a comparison, the Jehovah’s Witness denomination claims that in recent years, they have built tens of thousands of new Kingdom Halls (an average of five each day) in order to keep up with the increase in their congregations! (jw.org)
Matthew 16:16: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
That means making Christ Lord and owner over everything. When you surrender to Christ, you are not your own, anymore. And Christ gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (elders) to equip the saints for the work of ministry. In the early church, many evangelists such as Paul, Timothy, Titus and Philip were not local preachers as much as they were sent to build up the Church in places where it had been established.
1 Corinthians 3:5-11: “What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
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