Advancing the Kingdom: How Are We Doing?

Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation about Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept silent for long ages but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God to advance the obedience of faith among all nations—to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be the glory forever! Amen.
— Romans 16:25-27

What is the gist of what Paul is saying? Two things: first, God gives us strength to proclaim the gospel about Jesus Christ (vs. 25); and, two, He has commanded us to advance it to all nations (vs. 26).

How are we doing? The conversion rate in America is not keeping pace with the birth rate. We are falling behind. Research shows that each generation is less religious than the previous generation. For instance, 27% of Millennials classify themselves as "Nones"-- they identify with no religious system at all. I know, religion is not particularly a good thing. But this indicates that they attend no church at all. And the pattern indicates that each successive generation is less religious than the previous generation. This is not a good pattern! 

Why is this? 

I have my own conviction. 

I believe we are not obeying the command to advance the Gospel. We have been shamed into silence. As humans we are not perfect at anything... unless it is making excuses for our disobedience. We have substituted "church growth" for winning souls. We have substituted "quality" for "quantity"--"making disciples" for winning people to Christ. But how can we make disciples for Christ if we are not winning people to Christ? I am afraid that our ambition for filling buildings, or--even worse--our theology have become the biggest obstacles to advancing the Gospel of Christ. 

Or maybe we are just lazy.

Or maybe we are simply scared. 

But whatever the reason--or lack thereof--we simply MUST return to obedience. We MUST obey God's command to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus to our family, friends, neighbors, associates... and even strangers. We simply MUST do our sacred, God-given duty. If we do not do it, no one else will. And if the current trend continues, and the generation arises that is completely Godless, we will have no one else to blame but ourselves!