Part 1 in a series of articles based upon the Lausanne North American Listening Call.
Question 1: What are the most significant gaps and remaining opportunities in North America toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission?
In this question, Lausanne wants each region to assess the church’s ground-game in advancing the gospel in its context. In this post, we want to note the four most recurring gaps people shared with us on our listening call.
1. The Credibility Gap
The credibility of Christians has been on a downhill trajectory since the Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart days. Now with news traveling at the speed of a tweet and a repost, the credibility gap continues to widen. And it widens from a plethora of issues—issues consisting of sexual misconduct, domineering behavior, political affiliation infatuation, touting conspiracy theories, misogyny, racial overtones, to lavish lifestyles and everything in between.
There is certainly a holiness problem within the church, which means there will be a credibility problem for us in the world. Holiness is our distinction from the world. The author of Hebrews notes that without holiness no one will see the Lord. While the author meant that statement to be applied to people’s relationship with God, we can also transpose that to our situation in North America. We are the body of Christ, the manifesting presence of God in the world. Yet, when we live soiled lives, we prevent the world from seeing the glory of God. The credibility gap is indeed one we must work to close.
2. The Unity Gap
John 17, Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, gets thrown around like a cute quote from fortune cookie. But what do you do after reading the little slip of paper pulled from the cookie? You throw it away and don’t really think about it anymore. That seems to be what …