Historically, the Black Church has served as a powerful political, social, and spiritual institution. Unfortunately, too many postmodern Black churches are becoming fundamentally immaterial. This is an especially sad reality when one considers how central the work of Black churches was to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The purpose of this piece is to offer 5 reasons why many Black churches have basically lost their relevancy.
1. Money. Too many Black preachers place more focus on filling the offering plates than on responding to the comprehensive needs of the members of their congregations. Instead of engendering a potent economic agenda offering serious solutions for their congregants, many Black preachers are more concerned with how they can fatten their wallets and ameliorate their personal dwellings and automobiles. Although some people in the faith community are governed by a false consciousness that preachers aren’t capable of being venal people, this type of thought is divorced from reality. Even with Bishop Eddie Long being publicly proven to be a corrupt man, some in the faith community still don’t believe that some preachers are corruptible. Many Black churches are being dominated by the profit-motive, and their pastors are viewing the congregants as commodities. The absence of economic uplift in numerous Black church members has contributed significantly to the waning of these churches’ importance.
2. Envy. In many Black churches, envy is such a prevailing force that it not only threatens the effectiveness of the churches, but also will lead to their untimely demises. Numerous Black preachers are unwilling to address envy within their churches because they’re afraid of losing church members, which, of course, leads to decreases in dollars in the offering plates. Although you’ll have countless people tell you that they’re Christians in these churches, so many of them will be the first people to try to bring you down. Too many people Black churchgoers aren’t committed to solidarity; they’re more committed to finding ways to attack one of their fellow members simply because he or she has something they desire. Much of the extant envy in the Black Church emerges from deep racial self-loathing. Black preachers, therefore, need to address self-esteem problems and racial self-hatred. Envious people don’t want to face their funk—they attempt to deodorize and sanitize their funk. Beware of those envious snakes who destroy you behind your back.
3. Fragmentary Teaching and Preaching. Too many Black churches cherry-pick the sins they discuss. Countless Black churches have an incessant focus on homosexuality, but they refuse to address the unsettling number of aborted Black babies, the alarming divorce rate in the Black community, and many other sins that will upset the greater majority of the members. To avoid infuriating the majority of the church members, many Black preachers pick phenomena that will incense only a minority of their congregants. When teaching about a specific sin, it’s vital for churches to link that sin to the sin nature and offer hope, redemption, and salvation to those who have and/or are committing the discussed sin. Overly focusing on a specific sin alienates people, and it causes church members to lose sight of the larger number of sins they’re committing and/or need to devote more concern to examining.
4. Lack of Community Involvement. Many Black churches are simply not involved enough in the communities in which they are situated for people to see why the churches even matter. Quality and consistent community service was one of the hallmarks of the Black Church during the Civil Rights Movement, but numerous Black churches aren’t giving any time to community service, or they’re devoting an insignificant amount of time to community service. An effective church stays active in the lives of the people in its service area.
5. Lack of a Social Justice Agenda. The Black Church, as a whole, must return to advocating for social justice as it did during the Civil Rights Movement. Too many Black churches have been silent about senseless murders of Black people (e.g. Trayvon Martin), high Black unemployment, Black male academic underachievement, and etc.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- The Black Church and the Incessant Focus on Homosexuality (revolutionarypaideia.com)
- The Black Church’s Impact on Politics (blackchristiannews.com)
- What’s wrong with the Black Church (theanonymousbloke.wordpress.com)
- The Apostasy of the Black Church (americanthinker.com)
- Why the Black Church Needs to Stop Conforming to Politics and Get Focused on Missions in America and Around the World (blackchristiannews.com)
- Huge growth of black majority churches in London (christiantoday.com)
- The State of the Black Church Part I (praisecharlotte.com)
- Is homophobia in the black church leading to depression in the LGBT community? (thegrio.com)
I just went off about the black church after the George Zimmerman verdict, in reference to how we used to be a dominant force during the civil rights movement. Now we are just an avenue where the congregation gives and none of the things you mentioned is even thought of. Good post! I may have to republish next week!
Racists used to have fear of the power of the Black Church. Now, they see the Black Church as a harmless institution with no real power. The Black Church has become focused on the wrong things. I’m committed to providing substantive critiques of the Black Church aimed at improving it. I very much appreciate you for reading and your response.
It’s the religion that justified slavery in America, and belonging to it is voluntary slavery. Abandoning it is the best move anyone could ever make.
Yes, religion is certainly a problem, but having a true relationship with Christ is essential. If you are, therefore, advocating atheism, then I strongly disagree with you. Do you have a problem with people having a serious relationship with Jesus?
What, specifically, do you find “wrong”?
Wow the spiel on the Black church is so relevant and on point! It is a sound assessment!
Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed the article.
black churches and black church people are a joke.they spend to much trying live up to a fake standard base on white christian methods and thought.they are the main reason for broken homes and low marriage rates.black men have been destroyed by these fake churches and their people ..
It’s a foolish generalization to characterize all black churches and those who attend those institutions as “a joke.” You have not attended all black churches and don’t know all black people who attend a church. I do agree with you in some ways about many black churches attempting to measure themselves by standards which are self-defeating. Although some black churches can share some blame in broken homes and severed marriages, it’s simply empirically wrong to make the argument that black churches are solely responsible for broken homes and severed marriages. Yes, some black churches have contributed significantly to black men’s demises, but again, it’s an immature generalization to blame all black churches for “destroying” black men.
I Agree The Black Church Are Blood Suckers
I think if everyone comes together, everything would be OK! I don’t believe in just a black church. I believe in unity. Blacks aren’t the only people that are being treated unfairly. Believe what I say I’m a witness.
The use of the “black church” is a historical term to refer to those attending churches composed of primarily African-Americans and to refer to African-Americans who are in the Body of Christ. Race was not a true issue in the article and it certainly was not the focus. I, too, believe in unity. Yes, people from all backgrounds face discrimination, but no groups in the history of America have faced an ingrained history of discrimination like Native Americans and African-Americans have — that’s for sure. We do agree that unity is the key, which means we have to embrace and respect differences.
I agree with this statement and the article
Thank you for your response and thank you for reading.
Is it even cool for a church to get involve in a lot of political stuff? In Rev 13: 2 it states” The Dragon gives to the Wild beast power, throne and authority. Also the Bible says somewhere that Satan is the ruler of this system of things. But if you read in psalms 146: 3-4 it states do not put your trust into nobles or kings.
Yea some of the things you stated are true. However I don’t like the idea that your five reason are bible! in fact I kinda just look at as one mans opinion. Churches will have issues even if we deal with the five you highlighted. What you stated was not based on facts, agin its just one mans opinion
All five of the reasons stated have biblical support. These are not just “opinions”; what has been stated here is a product of empirical research I conducted across the nation. We are not to become complacent with problems in our churches; we’re to trust God for answers to those problems.
You can find biblical support for each of the five things I stated. The five things I’ve stated come from empirical research I’ve conducted across the nation. We are never to become complacent about problems in our churches; we are to seek God for answers to those problems.
The presence of the Black church in America has allowed or supported the systematic academic brainwashing of its population. In the book of Daniel 1:3-4; we discover the process that enslave Black people. The social emasculation of the Black community has rendered the church weak and ineffective in its message and ministry. Is there any chance of recovery? Yes! But only through the changing of the value system. The desire for wealth is the shackle that govern us and blur our focus for life and the abundance that life offers.
What was stated had some merit. Also, what was stated is the result of the black church’s condition. What are the 5 root causes? Being a pastor/preacher, I can personally refute the All pastors are concerned with the offering plate and padding pockets statement. Upon being called to pastor my first church , I accepted a reduction in pay offered by the church in comparison to the full time job I quit in order to do so. My contract given by the church stated that I would receive a 10% annual bonus of any amount above the previous year’s income. I was there 6 years and only preached tithes and offerings once a year. The church received 20-30,000 increase annually without giving the tenth promised me. Nor did I ask. I received 400.00/wk year one and 500/wk by year 6. Miracles were manifesting. People delivered from full blown aids. Members with serious heart conditions ceased taking medication being healed among many others. People inherited as leaders with little to know knowledge regarding church protocols. During this time everything God led me to implement was fought against. Through it all to include physical altercations during and after worship services, God was still adding to the church. Leadership had become so money hungry that I personally paid for outreach resources (i.e. weekly radio/TV broadcast and quarterly devotional publications ). Therefore, speaking from experience, when the church continues to muzzle the mouth of the ox, doesn’t do what biblically should be done for the pastor and refuses to allow the pastor to do what God leads him to do then the only thing left is money.
I would love to blame the church………but black folks are the ones filling the pews, they are the ones handing over the inheritance of their children.
Black folks have for the most part given up on each OTHER and decided what they have been sold (Afterlife while the pastors live a good life today) is what they should pay for. So you NOW have much of urban black communities littered with churches who have basically took any wealth the black community could have amassed over the last 40 years and just wasted it.
The black church was never intended to be a source for economic/emotional/physical wealth, what the black church was, was an alternative and covering from white supremacy, to which the church actually adopted the same principles as our former oppressors and that was mental/emotional/economic bondage.
What needs to change(and I mean no disrespect) is that black folks should stop investing in church and start investing in their children and themselves and each other.
If there were no churches in the black community they would be wealth. Remember there were more black businesses in the black community 50 years ago, and with the increase in churches(and the change in time) came the DECREASE in black businesses in urban communities. Its no surprise, because the only businesses that thrive in the black community NOW is those businesses that take money away from the community never to return, and that is now the church, which is more common than the liquor store, the gas stations, and the nail shops.
Interesting comments. I disagree mostly with what you said, although I do respect what you said. 50 years ago the Black Church was supporting the development of those Black businesses you refer to. 50 years ago the Black Church was investing in its people to aid them in generating money. 50 years ago the Black Church was a powerful source of emotional, economic, social, and personal strength for Black people.
I think also that what has largely been quiet is that secular people especially pre civil and post civil rights have always been a part of black progress. The former black church was less about Christianizing than it was about getting from under white oppression. Unfortunately the black church has adopted the same things with missions to African countries using the same methods of white oppression. I digress. Thanks for the exchange.
No problem. In what ways are Black churches using methods of White oppression in African countries?
I have traveled to multiple cities in Kenya. I have family living in the cities, the villages and along the coast of Kenya. Lastly, I have friends from various countries on the Continent. Would you explain your comment stating that Black churches use methods of white oppression in African countries? I have not seen or experienced this oppression. Thank you
Where in the article did I say that Black churches use methods of White oppression in African countries? The article was limited to predominantly Black churches in the United States of America.
The problem with many black churches IMO is they make a mockery of religion and have worldly ways. Some preachers will complain about materialism and pagan holidays but make it a point to be standing at the pulpit with a real nice suit and jewelry on. Another thing that annoys me is pastors at Apostolic will watch members to see if they are jumping up and down, in a frenzy to see if you are Holy Ghosting. I have done research on the whole thing and it is just sad that black churches emphasize values that are contradictions. It is hard to get involved in church when the model is a bunch of shenanigans.
I agree very much with you about these things going on at many Black churches. We just have to pray that Jesus will turn those churches around and get serious about serving Him. At every church, there has to be a greater focus placed on Jesus. Too many churches are putting the focus on human beings, and this leads them to being just as worldly as the secular world. I very much appreciate you for reading and for providing your excellent response.
One church one truth one God one love Christ Died to redeem us back to his Father because of our sins there is no greater Love than that. The purpose of the Church not the Black or the white Church but God’s Church, Now preachers are not teaching the people God universal laws there main goals are personal gain not Souls so Church I in courage you to study your Bibles, know the truth so you can be free ask yourself a question, What is sin? Seek the answer and when you find it stay away from it. Regardless of what you are thinking or have been taught you can’t touch it. Because it’s a spirit it takes place in your mind and then the act is committed, if we just tell the truth, live the truth God will cause the Church to grow it’s not about you pastor it’s about the souls you are responsible for.
I certainly agree with you that Truth, which is Jesus, should be superior to all things and people. Soul-winning is far more important than any personal agendas of any pastors. I elected to discuss Black churches because they’re the ones I’ve devoted the preponderance of my time to examining. Thank you for reading and your response.
You actually believe that? You actually believe that Jesus will make everything better by simply putting Jesus first? I’m going to be nice about it. That makes no sense.
What is Christ’s mission as defined by you? How could that mission possibly help black churches and black people? So just by turning people into Christians and getting them into heaven is going to end black oppression and systemic racism?
Your top five is a good start, and I applaud you for even trying, but even the very same people that actually follow Christ and speak about his mission and so forth, don’t have a clue it seems. I’ll let you in on one truth. It wasn’t at all cool to be a Christian during the time Jesus was alive.
There wasn’t even such a thing as being a christian while he was live. It didn’t become a religion until he died. Moreover, Jesus stood for rebellion. Everything he done was against the structural power base that was prevalent during his time. You would have endured a horrible existence following Jesus at that time. There was nothing cool or fashionable about it.
Now fast forward…everything about Jesus and Christianity is cool and fashionable. You get rewarded for being a Christian so to speak. This is the exact opposite of what it means to be a follower of Jesus as it relates to the life he lived. You will have to speak out against the power base. You would have to respect everyone you come in contact with and treat them like a human.
Not tell them oh, join what we got going on then we’ll help you. You would have to piss over the people in power so much, that they’ll not only kill you, but do it in public so whoever wants to come behind you will see that the powers at be will kill you and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Let’s be honest, not to many christians ready for that kind of life. A life of rebellion, a life to stand firm on what you believe. See Jesus didn’t live his life based on anyone’s else books or doctrines. He created his own. Like I said, few people can even phantom what it meant to be Jesus or one his disciples.
There were only 12 people following him, you think that’s by chance. Anyway, stand as a man on your own principles you find through living your own experiences and struggles. You will never change anything living life based on doctrines the society has given you. You didn’t think of, or come to believe what you believe through any inspired thought. It was all given to you by another person, maybe even a stranger. Do better. Oh, I’m not speaking to the author of this post directly, I’m saying this last bit to any person that really wants to impact anything.
Because of the Original Sin, we are going to face discrimination and oppression in this present world. Jesus was a radical, indeed. We have to apply His radical principles to the way in which we live our personal lives and to the way in which we do ministry. One of the fundamental reasons why many churches are not willing to put Jesus first is they are unwilling to accept Jesus in His totality, which includes the radical nature of Jesus. It’s too radical for many churches to abandon their selfishness for selflessness. When we begin to have more men and women of all races to have a true transformation of heart through Salvation, we will begin to experience less discrimination and oppression. We will never have complete improvement in the areas of discrimination and oppression, but every bit of chipping away at them helps. We have to trust in Jesus to bring about the change needed by doing what pleases Him, and this does mean doing the radical things He did. I certainly don’t want to sanitize Jesus but too many churches do, unfortunately. I’ve read some of what you’ve written here on other sites, so I was already familiar with your beliefs before reading your response. While I do appreciate your response, and it did some important things to the discourse here, you might try be less condescending in your response to people who you disagree with, especially when you’re having a discourse with someone as academically and professionally accomplished as I am. Just consider that your opinions are just that — opinions. Don’t attempt to demean others’ opinions. State your disagreements in a professional way and keep it moving.
Brother I like and hear what u are throwing down…it would be nice to be able to contact u…I truely feel in partial of what u are saying…but just would to like to further discuss
Hopefully, he will respond to you and provide you with his contact information.
I was a single mom of 7, the bible says watch and pray! I couldn’t afford not to i had to work.God had my back. Prayer changes things, no one prayed hardly in church. The church is the hospital for the sin sick soul, if sin is not addressed, or people live for Jesus publicly as well as privately there will be no change. You can pray forever and there is no effectiveness. If you follow Gods plan for your life it will make a difference. Everybody is going to reap what they’ve sown. My motto pray more talk less, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Beacause if your watching and praying you’ll see that devil before he comes.
Yes, people must become real with God before they will experience true change in their lives. Prayer is the most powerful weapon that the Lord has given to the saints. Thank you for reading and your response.
We learn and are blessed from the message and not man.
True. In your opinion, did the article not convey what you stated? Did you read this article as an attack on preachers?
In most Black churches, members spent 4 or more hours every Sunday or Saturday each week preparing for service, another 2 or 3 hours on Wednesdays for prayer meetings but will not volunteer 1 hour per month to help their local school districts with their kids.
Very true! It’s also a shame that this happens. Too many churches have abandoned the mission of Christ. Thanks very much for reading and your response.
I agree very much with the reader’s response. Jesus made the needs of people His top priority, so as true disciples of Christ we have to make the needs of people our top priority.
Are their any suggestions or strategies you might share that would demonstrate how a local congregation could possibly connect with an area school/their administration and offer help? (It may be that many pastors and congregations are not quite sure how the so-called separation of state and church statutes apply.) ijs
I love the TRUTH and it’s time we speak on our own issues.
I absolutely agree with you, and this is why I penned this article to begin a national discourse about these problems within our churches.
A lot of people like to get this idea that the black church is a lost cause. However, with some careful examination, you see that with the way mainstream christianity is set up, almost everything in the church is about profits. For the most part, nothing can be gained from a very empty, hollow system. My fellow black people have been brainwashed by hip hop and rap doing hardly no thinking for themselves. They’re twerking in churches now bringing filth in the church now. This and a number of other things is most certainly one of the reasons why many people don’t take the black church seriously.
In many black churches, a lack of focus on the true Gospel, the Gospel of Grace, has caused them to allow a perverted Gospel to take prominence. Those churches must put Jesus in first place to become relevant. Churches shouldn’t mirror nightclubs.
Absolutely! My deepest pain for my people reminds me of the scripture, “my people perish because of a lack of knowledge”.
We will not see deliverance until we drop our pride and foolishness, humble ourselves and come back to our first love (God).
Many of us are outraged about the killings of young black men, but where are the leaders with a dream? Why have we forgotten the power of God so quickly? Who has been chosen in this hour to fight this spiritual battle on behalf of the people. We dont need to protest, we need to fast and pray as one.
I agree very much with you. God will give us the protection of Psalm 91 when we trust in Him and have greater intimacy with Him through fasting, praying, and meditating on the Word of God. II Corinthians 3:18 informs us that as we behold the Word of God, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the very image of Jesus Christ. ,
In the fullness of time. . . the LORD our God always does things, raises up a leader, in His own timing. But first He has caused us to ask the question, “Where is he or she?” Let those of us who can and will continue to fast and pray, watch and pray and to do all the good that we can, for as long as we can, too as many as we can. Shall we leave the results up to HIM (who is able).
I have a question: How effective are today’s black churches at reaching the lost and bringing them to Christ? Isn’t that supposed to be the #1 priority of Christians? I hear about community activism, etc., but I never hear about evangelizing. Jesus told us to go out and spread the gospel. We’re supposed to be concerned with people being sent to Hell for sinning against God, and showing them the Savior. I never hear about this when the black church is discussed.
I think most Black churches are doing a horrible job reaching the lost and bringing them to Christ. The Church’s top priority is evangelism, but too many churches have allowed their own personal agendas to prevent them from fulfilling the mission of Christ: winning lost souls. We must spread the Gospel of Grace, which is the only Gospel and the Gospel that has the power to transform lives.
Gospel of Grace. . . Power to transform lives. . . I like what you have said here. Are you a teacher/workshop leader for this ‘top priority’ of the church? Do you adhere to the maxim, “They will not come, they must be brought. They will not seek, they must be sought. They will not learn, they must be taught.”
I certainly agree with that maxim. Yes, God called me to ministry in the Office of Teacher. In my calling as a Teacher of the Gospel, I emphasize making Jesus the top priority in ALL that we do. My teaching and ministry focus on Grace, which is what the Apostle Paul defined the Gospel as. I conduct workshops, seminars and trainings where the Gospel of Grace is taught and demonstrated how to be applied to one’s life and ministry.
I would love to have your contact information if possible. My first time, first day, in this arena so I’m not quite sure if that’s the done thing. But anywho. . . I have enjoyed most of what you’ve written.
After reading the many replies and responses to your original piece, I agree wholeheartedly with this one here as well as the 5 reasons stated. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, is what comes to mind. Jesus gave us a commission to “go ye therefore…” and we, black churches, are not going. Being that I am a member of an AME church my church experiences, over the last 50+ years, are drawn from a black church viewpoint. From an addict to a candidate for ordination is where my “information” is drawn. If I had been a member of another church, then I would speak about and respond to issues in that church. If we are honest, we know that we see the failures but are so unconcerned about spiritual growth that we refocus on what seems to be the easier fixes. Thank you for stating so clearly the “issues” we need to address and that line up with what Jesus has commanded of us and may I have your permission to reprint this in our monthly church newsletter?
Hello, Jerlyn: I agree very much with your excellent response. Thank you for it. Yes, of course, you may reprint it in your monthly church newsletter. Just give the proper credit: Written by Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels at Revolutionary Paideia. Again, thanks!
Sin. . . Hell. . . These do not come up so much anymore across the pulpits of America in any church, no matter the ethnic make-up. And that’s a crying shame. No one is confessing sin these days, only mistakes. And what is repentance anyway? Is it something one can and should actually do. I am not all that I should be. The LORD knows. But I rely on the Spirit of GOD to help me in my quest for and pursuit of holiness. I also ask HIM to show me those He would have me speak to concerning ‘the good news’. I am ‘the church’ not the building I go to for worship and fellowship. That building cannot reach the lost and won’t bring in the discouraged, the oppressed or the sin sick. Nope, that’s an assignment given to believers. Well anyway, that’s my perspective.
Another issue is holding on to certain traditions that don’t have any significant meanings. Something’s were done back in the day because they had a reason and it was necessary. Another thing, if a person is feeling the spirit and do they’re thing and dance, that’s one thing. But then there’s this. People practicing their dances!!! Practicing!!!!
Absolutely! Too many “Christians” worship traditions, and most of those traditions are not even scriptural. When they practice their dances, they are simply playing with God. We also have too many people in the church who are playing with God. They serve to please people but not God.
What worship or religious traditions are we speaking of here? What do you feel needs to go? How do you think the disposal of such religious adherence will impact ‘the church’
Those traditions that are not scriptural. It will have a great impact on the Church, considering we will be doing things that truly please God. The “traditions” vary from church to church, from denomination to denomination. I just want everything we do to have a New Covenant of Grace basis. Too often churches have and are straying away from the Word of God, favoring their own preferences.
The larger problem is the fact there still a need for a “black” church. When we get to heaven will there be a Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Black, White, Asian, Jewish , … church? I get the role of the black church in American history so need to provide a lecture there.
Another thought is how is this how easy it is to point out what is wrong. Now the question to the author is what movement are you leading or a part of that is impacting change?
I’m well aware that there is not a need for a “black” church, but what I’m referring to is the churches attended by predominantly black people. I would love for us to reach a point one day when we are attending churches regardless of race. Unfortunately, we have not reached that day. I’m a part of a movement that attempts to bring people out of their sins through the Gospel of Grace. I teach the Gospel of Grace to the unsaved and let them know that they can be saved without trying to get themselves together first — Jesus will do the cleaning up. When people understand how much Jesus loves them, they will want to receive His Salvation. We have to identify the problems before we can work towards improvement. I am, therefore, pointing out five dominant reasons why black churches are failing, so that they can begin to reform. I’m deeply involved in mentoring, teaching, and evangelizing using the Gospel of Grace, and through Jesus working through me many souls are being saved and many who are already saved are learning how to live victorious lives in Christ Jesus. I can tell you even more than I’m doing, if necessary. What are you doing to create pleasing change and increase the number of lost souls who become saved?
AMEN TO THAT, WHEN WILL WE REALIZE JESUS DIED FOR A PEOPLE, NOT A DENOMINATION. “A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND”.
Many churches have simply abandoned the mission of Christ and the importance of putting Jesus in first place, and this is very unfortunate. Thanks for reading and your response.
all this dialog about the problem; (which has been known for decades); yet, where are the SOLUTIONS??
The solution to all of the issues in the Church begins with putting Jesus in first place and linking all that we do in our churches to the mission Christ. We have to begin to make Jesus the top priority in our churches. We can have a true impact on the world by making Jesus’ priorities our priorities. If you look at 5 of the top reasons why many black churches are failing (as I listed), you can see that Jesus cannot possibly be the top priority in those churches if those things are problems in those churches. All meaningful solutions in the Church begin with Jesus being made the top priority.
Where are your solutions?
What did Jesus say when people were trying to get him to fight for justice for the common jew against the Romans? He basically said that he didn’t come down here for that and that his followers shouldn’t be concerned either. Our job as Christians is to bring as many people as we can unto Christ. Yes, it is great to worry about your fellow man but we shouldn’t take our eyes off of Jesus either. Satan can take us in directions that we think is GOD’s will and it isn’t.
Yes, the top priority of the Church should be to win lost souls, but when the Church loses focus on Jesus, there must be people willing to state openly that we have lost our focus on soul winning. By pointing out things the Church isn’t doing effectively is not wrong and isn’t taking one’s eyes off of Jesus. In fact, we put our eyes completely on Jesus when we are doing things that are going to work to improve how we behold Him. There’s nothing about this article that takes the focus away from Jesus and soul winning.
I am wondering how much research you actually did? How many differing churches did you poll? How many different congregations did you observe and over how long of a time period? What parts of the country did you observe? There are different trends in different parts of the country. How detailed was you research? I’d like to know if this is well documented or just personal experience in your home town or neighboring cities.
Truth of the matter it is not just black church attendance that is down it is church attendance as a whole. I wonder if you compared those numbers to the national average as well as the denominational average?
Secondly to say that many black pastors are concerned with only padding their pockets and so forth is a hasty generalization. Surely you could not have sat down with a number of pastors. I am a pastor. I had a salary well over six figures. But my heart was for the people. My concern was for God’s people. So I liquidated all of my assets and started a church. My stock, mutual funds, IRA, 401k, emergency fund, personal savings, downpayment for my house to be built, etc….. While my other friends were out buying sports cars with their bonuses and getting boats, I was concerned about things that have an eternal value.
The truth of the matter is that I know far more pastors like myself. I am not saying that there are those who aren’t greedy or self serving, but that is only a small percent. Many of us get out of our beds at 2 in the morning to meet you in the hospital when there are complications. We marry you, baptize your children, dedicate your babies, pray with you, walk through divorces with you, comfort your families during times of bereavement and so many other things that get overlooked and taken for granted because there are the 1% on TV.
But even that being said I personally don’t have a problem with them either. It’s a matter of context. When I lived in TN I would have thought the lifestyle of TD would have been too extravagant. But after living in Dallas I see that it is regular compared to where he lives. I am sure there would be some who would say my house is too extravagant depending on where they are from. But in my current context it is normal. I live right around the corner from my trustees and deacons.
Did you realize that the drop out rate in the ministry is around 80% and that includes seminary graduates. They say it just isn’t worth it. You do so much put your heart out there for people only to have it not reciprocated. It might be well worth mentioning the amount of heartache a pastor goes through. Read the Bible 2 Cor. In that letter you can hear Paul’s pain. Or some of the discouraging emails I have received. Yet I go forward first because God has called me and second because there are those that I see God working in their lives. I focus on the people that are growing and going with God. The percentage is small compared to the whole, but God has granted me to serve some wonderful people. While I might be accused of many things it can’t be about my love for God, my love for His people, and my integrity.
Articles like this is what is hurting the ‘black church.’ Granted you are entitled to your opinion, but don’t pass it off as fact unless you do the proper research on a broad spectrum. I am not saying that many of your points don’t exist, but this is definitely a lopsided argument. I know plenty of preacher’s who could actually make way more money in the regular work force that is across all racial spectrums. Instead of basing off of what you see on TV and your own immediate context try to get some exposure. I would be interested to see if your opinion changes.
As a pastor, you should be ashamed of yourself for how you’ve prejudged me. You’ve made too many false assumptions. You selected one of the reasons listed in the article that you disagreed with and went on an extended rant about it. Why didn’t you address the other 4 reasons listed? My only hope and prayer is that you, as a pastor, are truly committed to winning lost souls as your top priority.
Very well said I see there was no response to your response as a Pastor who lost everything for the sake of ministry gave it all up thriving business etc too much to mention as one of my fellow Pastor friends stated in another post we do this because were called to it
He didn’t lose everything. He still left with the money he gained in business: the six-figure salary. All of us who are in ministry have given up something, and many of us have given up great things and even greater things than Pastor Quincy. With his long response, much of it attempting to question an established researcher’s methods, he had plenty of time and space to challenge other aspects of the article but failed to do so.
Most “church folk” that I know are not interested in reading the Sunday School Lesson, let alone do some empirical study on the ‘black church.” There is a degree of truth in most of the responses that appear here. By observation, it appears that leadership is lacking in the predominantly black church. I suspect that emotionalism has usurped the place of genuine anointed christian leadership in our churches.
There are many strong leaders in the church, but one of the central aims of this article is to push those leaders and their members who aren’t doing effective ministry to strive to do better. Yes, too many attending church aren’t interested in studying God’s Word and the core of the problems in the church start there.
Reblogged this on Habari Gani, America!.
Thank you very much for reblogging my article!
Reblogged this on antonioschaffer.
Thank you very much for reblogging my article!
I have a problem with”people” acting like it doesn’t take money to operate a church. We expect so much of Pastors– to think they should look like they don’t own a suit or nice shoes is idiotic to me! Yet we expect them to speak on behalf of our people in all types of forums and platforms. We want to have nice worship facilities yet give sparingly. We cringe at giving tithes and offerings but make a big hoopla over whether someone has the Holy Ghost or not because they’re “disrupting” the flow of service! Priorities, people please!! First order of the church is to win souls for Christ. The Pastor is being held accountable for those souls under his watch. I could go on and on but, I think the main point was made.
I agree very much with you that the first priority of all churches should be winning souls. Yes, it takes money to operate a church but church leaders shouldn’t allow money to dominate their focus. Every time people go to church the emphasis shouldn’t be on money. Yes, effective ministry takes money. I’m all for making raising money for the mission of Christ a central part of what churches do. Let’s just make sure that the majority of the efforts concerning money centers around doing effective ministry for Christ. I certainly don’t want preachers to be broke and looking unprofessional.
You might want to start by looking at how you addressed LGBT people in this article and then talk to the younger generation about your views. It’s not just black churches that are losing the younger generation, it’s all of Christianity, and for good reason. Christianity has evolved over the centuries, on race, on women, etc. It needs to continue to evolve if it’s to survive.
What was problematic about the way in which I addressed LGBT people? I do agree with you that Christian churches need to evolve much more in many ways. This can happen when there’s a greater embracement, teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Grace. A deeper understanding and engagement with Grace will lead to this larger evolution in Christianity.
No one addressed the increasing number of black non believers ….
It’s because the Gospel of Grace is not being taught and preached to the lost that there is such a large number of black people who are choosing to remain non-believers. What would you like to be addressed about “the increasing number of black non-believers”?
Hosea 4:6 say “for lack of knowledge my people perish.” The question is, what knowledge? The church can do much more
It’s the lack of the knowledge of the Gospel of Grace. When people begin to have a thorough knowledge of everything Grace has made available to them, then there will be such a tremendous improvement in our churches.
The main problem with churches today are lack preaching the gospel and weak doctrinal stances.
There needs to be more teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Grace. People often overlook that Paul defined “gospel” as “grace.” There will not be such “weak doctrinal stances” in churches when the doctrine of Grace is rightly taught and strongly emphasized and applied.
The black church gets blamed for a lot… I wonder what church does the author of this article attend?
I attend a predominantly Black Church. It’s not about blaming the Black Church for “a lot” — it’s about facing our ugly truths in the Black Church and addressing them. We need to make Jesus the top priority in everything that we do and say in the Black Church, and then there will not be a need for the type of article I penned here.
I would have to categorically disagree with his diatribe of the black church which by the way there shouldn’t be a racial distinction sadly there is I’ll say this I don’t perceive that the brother that wrote the article is an atheist, agnostic yes which is why I think his views are so jaded and causticly perpetuated let’s deal with the church which by the way is a spiritual morphosis that effectuates itself in humanity the church has always been about inner change non-spiritual people shouldn’t write about a spiritual institution that they really don’t understand the social and political climate 50yrs ago had to interject faith into the movement to promote a non violent agenda faith then became adjunct to the movement and the social agenda took precedence over that which is spiritual so yes the church has suffered greatly it has gained its spiritual agenda back however lost focus on the social needs of today make no mistake about it God is building a people that’s going to bring balance back into the community and church the synergy of the post the preacher is really being castigated people are pointing out all the negatives and not talking the positives of the preacher there are some positives a lot of them the preacher can’t win for losing everything he does is scrutinized
I’m certainly not an atheist and not agnostic. I’m a Pentecostal member of the Church of God in Christ. God called me to ministry as a Teacher of the Gospel. Yes, sadly, we’re still divided by race in churches. In 2014, I still have to refer to the “black church” to address a large group of people who attend churches full of people who look just like themselves. The purpose of the article was not to bash any preacher, but to have us to move past phenomena holding us back from doing truly effective ministry that truly promotes the mission of Christ: to reconcile lost souls back to Him. What I’ve said in this article is only perceived as negative by those who are offended that these things are being exposed.
This is why I said I categorically disagree with your diatribe I’m sorry for saying you were agnostic in your view however I certainly believe there is some form of disdain for the institution of church the church is not and will never be for perfect people so to placate the negative attributes of the church to me is offensive if you’re a teacher in the church which is five fold ministry which translates into authority in the body of Christ as the bible says he gave gifts unto men you’re a gift to men teach them to do better don’t blog about our inefficiencies make us better what good is exposing going to do if you don’t have a solution or not offering one if you’re going to write something of such negative convergence give us positive affirmation to pull us out of our condition there is profound truth to what you said however not giving us the righteousness of the institution God Loves so well is just wrong in my opinion
Within the 5 reasons that I gave that many black churches are failing are solutions to improving those churches. Churches will not be able to improve unless they first identify their problems. I certainly don’t have a disdain for the institution of the Church — that’s very judgmental of you to say. The critique is not about the institution of the Church — the critique is about those church leaders who are failing to make Jesus the top priority in all they do and say.
So be a example start a revolution empower a people to do better don’t just talk about it be about it it’s really amazing to me how you can be offended for being judged when you’ve generalized the church or should I say preachers when the number of preachers that have abused people is minimal to the ones that have kept there integrity and been righteous before God and his people as a Pastor myself that has given it all up cut my expenses to the bare minimum moved my family from the suburbs to the inner city to make sure the ministry would not suffer while my family has taken a back seat in there living so to see these type of articles are not cool especially from someone who is apart of the church
Continue to do effective ministry.
Thank you I will as for you continue to write provocative articles this article just stirred a righteous indignation in me so I had to say something this what creative writing is all about God Bless
the author of this article is why “black” churches are failing.
There is no such thing as a TRUE Christian congregation that calls themselves a “black church”. The church is supposed to be united as “one body” not divided by the colors of our skin.
This twisted doctrine is taught by people who have bitterness in their hearts to spread hatred and division. The true children of God can spot this false “liberation” theology a mile away, and we mark it and speak against it, dust ourselves off and move on.
The real racists and false prophets are the ones teaching that Christianity involves receiving “social justice”. When Jesus taught SPECIFICALLY to return good for bad and “when your enemy smacks you, turn your cheek and let him hit you again” that ” when a stranger asks for your shirt give him your jacket as well”, ” when someone asks you to walk with them 1 mile, go the extra mile and walk 2″.
But no the opposite is being taught by you wolves. You teach selfishness to the ignorant in the form of a false morality. And it would truly be better that a mill stone be tied around your neck and you be thrown into the sea.
Deny yourself (what you THINK you deserve) and follow Christ and if you love him simply obey his commands.
Join a true church of God that does not cater to a certain “people” for the Gospel of Christ is universal and powerful enough to change any man of any color or culture.
You’ve become so consumed by religion that you’re not even useful to reaching lost souls in this present world. While you are certainly right that following Christ should be the top priority, you fail to see how following Christ means making Him the top priority in all that we do. God is a God who advocates for justice and wants His children to give justice and champion justice. I elected to discuss churches attended by predominantly black people because I’m most knowledgeable about these types of churches. What I composed in this article, however, can apply to most churches, even non-black churches. This article was not about race.
Is it even cool for a church to get involve in a lot of political stuff? In Rev 13: 2 it states” The Dragon gives to the Wild beast power, throne and authority. Also the Bible says somewhere that Satan is the ruler of this system of things. But if you read in psalms 146: 3-4 it states do not put your trust into nobles or kings.
It doesn’t matter if it’s cool or not — it matters if it’s the right thing to do or not. The Church must speak Truth to power, which, of course, means that it has to take positions against the current political system and its political leaders. If the Church is not offering a critique and alternatives to the political system, then it can never hope to see change in the world, and it will be negligent in its duty to attempt to reclaim the lost in this corrupt political system.
I think theres really ONE reason why black chuches have fail which lead to the other 4 reasons. That reason is the churches are looked at and being used as jobs and big business. How would Christ feel about this today?? Look at when Christ was upset at the men who use the holy temple to sell products and made money. Now churches are a big business on TV hoping for good ratings or more people in their chuches for money and the members are not learning nothing. You have church members that probably go to the same churches but beleive differently.
Many churches have certainly become too focused on money. Although I certainly recognize that money is necessary for effective ministry, churches shouldn’t allow money to consume their dominant attention. God was certainly angry in the bible when they used the temple as a place to sell products and make money.
First of all let me say that I am what you call Black. But I have a problem with this Black church.. compared to what,, “White church ? is there a yellow one, a pale one,,,Why the color coding,this will soon lead to a Black God,white god or the sorts,,that is where the confusion begin,,lets face it, There is only one God,,,One church and this church surpasses color race,creed….
Lose the self-righteousness. The “color coding,” as you put it, simply reflects a reality: we still segregate ourselves in places of worship, and this is unfortunate. My research focused on churches attended by predominantly black members, thus the use of the term “black church.” The term has been used historically to refer to black people attending churches and those black people who are in the Body of Christ. It’s not to suggest any need for a God for every race. Again, lose your self-righteousness, which is the greatest sin. This article addresses a large specific group of people — it’s not about race. Save your lectures on race for racists.
5013c ( Google please). A lot, not all, of Black Churches are lazy and complacent. There are no young leaders and the people that are there, are doing all the work. ( 80-20 rule). This blog is on point. I know a Pastor that preaches that Jesus talked more about money than any other subject in the Bible. ( Shame)
Then you have these Mega churches where you can not serve, so it’s no reason to join them. How are there mega churches, but homeless people? ( We know the flaws in a lot of Mega churches, so I’m not going to mention anymore. )
Last, let’s recognize the fact that we are in the age of information. I’ve noticed that a lot of Blacks are developing what they would call “Knowledge of Self”. They are throwing away religion and other doctrines to study their African roots and culture. Two reasons why I believe that it is happening are: Racism/White Supremacy on the Rise and The Fall of the Black Church. Information is right at our finger tips. We’re being told that this “Jesus” is not who we thought he was. (Think about this. )
Regardless of what you believe, I hope that the Black Church can once again be the back bone of the Black Community like it was before. We had Marcus Garvey’s Pan African Movement, The Black Panther Party, Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam, and the Black Christian Church all different ideologies, reaching one goal! (Think about that. )
Thanks again for this article.
Thank you for reading and your response. I, too, hope that the Black church can once again become the backbone of the Black community. When we think about how powerful of a force it was during the Civil Rights Movement, it puts many of our churches today to an open shame.
This is what my friend said in response to the article
I would have to say that all of the points made are
true. BUT……they have been true for the
breath of Church history! There has
always been someone who became greedy and wanted money! There is always some envy somewhere! Every preacher has gone through seasons (dry –
preachers know what I’m talking about) when their preaching was fragmentary,
slanted toward a particular sin etc. Community
involvement and social justice has always had times of waning in the Church –
EVEN during the civil rights movement – Just read Martin Luther King’s letter
from the Birmingham Jail to get an idea of what he was facing in relation to
the lack of community and social justice involvement from black Churches. The thing I do not like about these types of
article is they seem to be based on emotion and not fact!
According to Barna research group – Fewer people are
attending Church nationwide. Every
mainline denomination is reporting membership decline and has been since the
1960’s. The greatest exodus seems to be
the current 20-30 age group! One study was from Lifeway Research August 7,
2007. Also George Barna discusses it in his book ‘Unchristian’. Check out this
very revealing article: ://www.barna.org/…/147-most-twentysomethings-put
If I may, let me contribute this to the discussion. I can’t answer everything – well I can, but
it would be waaaay tooo looooong!!! Each
of these reasons for decline listed cannot be the reason! Why? They have always existed! So why
now? There is much more here than meets
the eye! What this article and many more
like it seem to reflect is the growing dissatisfaction with the Church based on,
what I believe are, wrong perceptions of it!
Contrary to popular belief – Most preachers (99% in my
opinion) are not out for your money! In
fact, I know A LOT of preachers and I don’t know ONE who started off with the
intention of pimping members, taking money or sleeping with all the women! I know a few who have fallen but that was
never the intention! Here’s a test for
you. List all the preachers you know who
are crooked and then juxtapose that number with the real number of preachers
who are out here and see if it ends up in a majority! Why do I say most preachers are not after
your money? Research says most Churches
in America are less than 100 persons. In
Richmond Ca, there are 147 registered Churches and another 40-50
unregistered. In my research I have
found that 95% if the black Churches are under 100 in weekly attendance and 75%
are 50 and under. This does not generate
enough money to fuel greed! Most of
these pastors have to have a secondary job to make ends meet at home and many
pastor without salaries because the Church can’t afford to give them anything…much
less benefits or retirement in exchange for a life of service. Honestly, if getting money was the goal,
there are MUCH easier ways to get it than preaching and pastoring! It’s too many headaches, personal attacks,
disappointments, time in training, money for school and continuing education, people
problems, attitudes, misunderstandings and the like just to make a buck! You don’t get paid to do this you get called
to do it…..and hopefully you get paid!
As for the other things – Church is a shared community of
people. It’s not a building! It’s people! Which means…we are the Church! The condition of my Church is the condition of ME! You can criticize from the outside but not
from the inside! Why? Because it’s ME! If my Church is active in the community it’s
because the people who attend get active. If it’s not active…again, the people! Envy = the people. What’s the
point? If we want the Church to be
better let’s make it better by our own attendance, activity, and attitude. Yes, it starts at the top, with the head, but
it cannot be sustained there. We are the
BODY of Christ!!!
Hey Julius, Sorry for taking up so much space!
I agree with some things that were stated.
What I mean by weak doctrinal stances is weak theology. Many pastors and lay person would have a difficult time explaining why they believe what they believe. There would be difficulty defending the faith, a lack of understanding the scripture, and interpreting the scripture.
I certainly agree with you. Church leaders need more teaching so that they can pass down knowledge to those they lead.
This is not necessarily true,,too many of us depend on others to feed us,when we are instructed ib 2 Timothy 2:15 that we are to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”…if we do this,and claim the promise that the spirit shall lead us into all truths,, then we are well on our way to be able to pass down the knowledge
It’s arrogant to believe that God will reveal all truths to you in your own private studies. This is why He called Teachers, Pastors, and etc. to reveal truths to you through them. Yes, He will lead us to all truth but we have to fellowship with others in Christ to obtain all truth. It is important to study on our own because God commands us to do this, but please lose this false belief that the Holy Spirit is going to lead you to all truth in your own private studies.
Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. Yes, let us study to show ourselves approved unto GOD by all means. But let us also not forsake the assembling of ourselves together with one another, but exhort, encourage, teach one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching. . . The Bible says something along these lines…
Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. Yes, let us study to show ourselves approved unto GOD by all means. But let us also not forsake the assembling of ourselves together with one another, but exhort ~ encourage ~ teach one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching. . . The Bible says something along these lines…
THE 5 ARE NOT REASONS,THEY ARE CAUSES.The reason why they fail is because they were built on the wrong foundation,,,any church that is built on the true foundation ,The solid rock,,JESUS CHRIST,CANNOT fail…,Matthew 16 vs 18:- And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.,,secondly we are instructed from Gods holy word ,that if we want success, if we want this church to stand, we must put Jesus first,,Matthew 6 vs 33,,… But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.so it is not The lack of money, envy,fragmented teaching ,lack of community involvement social injustices,or the like that causes these establishments to close their doors,but the failure of the members to do the will of the lord
You have to look up the meaning of “reasons” because it does mean causes. We share a fundamental agreement that failing to put Jesus first will lead to the downfall of any church. We have to encourage our churches to put Jesus in first place.
Do we really, really, really know who the real Jesus was?? Was he a social reformer or was his mission was specifically to bring men and women back to the God- head. If we really knew the real Jesus why is the black church failing on an alarming rate??
The reason why many churches are failing and why people seem to lack a true knowledge of who Jesus is results from a departure from concentrating on the true purpose for why Jesus came to this world. He came to die for the sins of the world, allowing man to be reconciled with God and enjoy eternal life with Him, and avoid Hell, which was caused by the Original Sin. Jesus’ mission, therefore, is about soul-winning. He’s not so much focused on social reforming, although it is His will for there to be justice (economic, social, racial, and etc.) throughout the world.
I agree with your five points. The constant pointing back to the civil rights era of the Black Church is also not to be overlooked. Dr. King knew his specific calling as a minister and preacher of “the gospel” which many don’t know today. Dr. King was an anomaly and sadly if you ask around, most people disconnects him from “the gospel” and the ministry. I have done studies(personal) on his sermons and was completely blown away and left wondering about his brand of preaching which is lacking or nonexistent in the black church today which leads to your 5 points. Sadly as even in his day, he was a single voice crying out which was silenced. That “revival” is coming.
Amen, brother! Yes, a true revival is coming. As more people begin to teach and preach the Gospel of Grace, a powerful transformation for the good is going to happen in this world. Yes, many people truly don’t have a real understanding of Dr. King — If they did, they would understand why the five things I’ve pointed out here are so important for us to get right in the Church today. Thank you so much for reading and your powerful and insightful response.
I appreciate what Dr. Martin Luther King did on behalf of all African Americans and I personally benefit richly from his efforts. However, did he not commit adultery repeatedly against his wife? If so, does that make him a hypocrite for if I committed adultery against my wife, I would be ask to leave the ministry. I mention this tidbit because this aspect of his life always get overlooked, and we tend to elevate Dr. King to demigod status in American history.
No clear thinking American attempts to make Dr. King a deity. The bible informs us that all have sinned and are falling short of the glory of God. Many people across the country, especially within colleges and universities, have highlighted the personal failings of Dr. King. One prominent scholar and public intellectual, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, has written brilliantly about Dr. King’s personal failings, but has emphasized how this man of great purpose rose high above his shortcomings for the good of America. Dr. King understood the power of Grace. He knew he was saved by faith through Grace and not through any works of his own. Dr. King believed in ministry that seeks to address the total man — not just man’s spiritual needs. This was what I and the respondent were pointing out about Dr. King; we weren’t giving him demigod status — not the slightest bit.
Thank you for your gracious response.
No problem. Thank you for reading and your responses.
Many Black churches are focused on the leader/Pastor with no other focus outside of it’s own perpetuation. I have always said if your church is all about your Pastor, your church is all about nothing.
Indeed, the pastor should not be the main focus in any church; Jesus should always be the primary focus in every church and in all that we do.
Sometimes, sometimes the Pastor may be blamed for the congregations misguided focus and adulation of him, his charisma and his ministry. At other times it is the fault of the people who have the tendency to ‘idolize’ a man. While it may be true that most things rise and fall on leadership, those in that place of authority must be oh so very careful as they will give an account to the LORD God.
The blood of the people are on the hands of the man of God. As you said, the people should never idolize the man of God, however.
Wow! I was intrigued and blessed and encouraged and aggravated and made thoughtful by the initial article and the myriad of comments which followed. As a long, long time member of a primarily African-American (Black) congregation located in the economically depressed urban core of a mid-sized city (500,000) in the Midwest, I could concur with a number of things I read from the initial author and several of the respondents. Ours is one of those congregations boasting fewer than 100 persons. Only two years ago we had only a remnant of the congregation I grew up in back in the mid to late 70’s. (21 souls left in the building to carry on each Sunday) For a number of years prior to that I had watched with broken heart the falling away of many. Some moved to the suburbs where they felt better schools and opportunities awaited their families. Our young people male and female went off to college or to the Armed Services and for whatever reason did not come back. A few heads of households just couldn’t ‘get with the pastor’ found him too much this or too little that. There was tension, their was strife, their was bitterness which the scriptures teach that such a ‘root’ will defile many. It did. BUT GOD! For nearly twenty eight months a small group of six to seven adults from those 21 souls left in the church met faithfully each Wednesday night and another group of senior saints numbering three, sometimes four got together for Bible reading and PRAYER. A few of us fasted and lay before the LORD and as the scripture also teaches, “let our requests be made known unto GOD.” And His peace kept us until such time as He brought to our attention a young man (age 50) He had prepared to stand in the gap and guide the people. Long comment shorten, in twenty-four months our congregation is now about eighty strong, fifty-five to sixty in regular attendance. Our Bible Study is growing slowly as appetite and thirst for the WORD of God is being stimulated . People are learning to give, learning why they are giving, and seeing where their gifts and sacrifices are being used inside and outside of our congregation. We are as a congregation much more visible in the neighborhood where we are situated. We are learning how to better ‘serve’. Our pastor has stipulated the current boundaries of what he terms ‘our jurisdiction’ and does commit the teaching of God’s all-sufficient grace to faithful men and women, who shall be able to teach others also. We watch and pray for more and better opportunities to draw others to the LORD Jesus Christ. (We have not yet moved into the sphere of addressing in any open manner the social justice issues facing our community. However, I am certain that it will come up and we shall. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a college professor in a local community college and my pastor is aware of my bent towards education, particularly as it pertains to young black males. I have two most beloved nephews. Both have attended college. Neither has completed.)
Thank you very much for your response. I’m glad things have improved dramatically for your place of worship. Also, thank you for your passion for education, especially your passion for Black male academic achievement. I thoroughly enjoyed your response.
Bless you. And thank you for your kind comments. I’d also like to say that our young pastor, now 52, is bi-vocational. Our congregation not currently able to afford him a hefty salary or benefits package, nor likely too in any way soon.
My spouse and I live ‘in-the-hood’. Electing to stay in the community where we were reared. We believe that if more of our brothers and sisters, black (African-American) saved, sanctified, filled-with-the-Holy Ghost professional people were to continue to live in the urban core, where the often disenfranchised black youths and their families live. These just might see their example, consider their lives, new relationships form and by such Lord willing, provide a quiet impact ~ the result, the King of Kings be glorified.
No problem. I agree with you completely!
What makes ppl really think that the true plan of God is always being in the church!!! The church is going to continue to fail bc Christianity/ churchanity has always been a religion ” about ” Jesus; where is the religion ” of” Jesus
Hebrews 10:25 states, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” The Lord commands us, therefore, to be in His temple together. It’s not about religion — it’s about relationship with Jesus Christ. We are not to be inside of the church walls all of the time. The bible informs us that we should go out into all of the world witnessing to people about the need for Salvation in Jesus Christ.
I must have missed the scripture where Jesus went around advocating against social injustice. Show me the scripture and I will agree with you, otherwise, I beg to differ.
That is not the purpose of the Church.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus advocated a social justice agenda: heal the sick, provide for the poor, clothed the naked, feed the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, take of the widows and orphans, etc. That’s social justice.
Folks, RELIGION has nothing to do with GOD! GOD didn’t organize religion…it was men that called Christians, Christians…not CHRIST. GOD is not in the church…he’s in your heart. HE operates outside the four walls of the church. I come from a good ministry that teaches the truth. GOD is no respecter of persons…he loves ALL. Black churches are too caught up with money. Yes, money is needed to operate a successful ministry but the money has to be distributed to in the right areas. The church is supposed to help the community and the lost souls. Put your money in the community. Help veterans, the homeless, ex offenders get employment and mentor the teens in your areas. If you put your money in those areas and not in the pastor’s pockets then the church would actually mean something. JESUS said to love each other the way I have loved you.
Hello, Alecia: I agree very much with you. Churches have to place a greater emphasis on taking care of “the least of these.”
Yes the majority of Black Churches are in a mess. I agree with all the points made in this article we just did a youtube video about this subject you guys should check it out here https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=AIil9sj0ZQY
Thanks for reading and your feedback, and I will check the video out.