— 5 —
What are the greatest challenges
for the church?

The challenges of today's church are many and it is difficult to define which are the most ominous. But from my years of working with the church, I would say that its greatest malady usually boils down to two chronic impediments, with which pastors and church leaders continually strive to overcome.

(1) Compromise with the standards of the world. Unfortunately, the modern American church seems to have been more influenced by society, rather than society being affected by the church. Recent Gallup polls show a majority of Americans profess to be Christians, but the general spiritual condition of our nation has never been worse. The fact is, although many churches have concentrated on techniques of getting people in the doors, they have not always been as successful in improving their spiritual condition. The Apostle Paul said, "...beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1).

There is a widespread deficiency in the basic elements of Christian character, ethics and morality. In contrast to past generations, recent counseling statistics show that the ratio of moral dysfunctions among professing Christians closely parallel that of secular society. Domestic violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual immorality and promiscuity are commonly found within the churchgoing populace. In the 1980's, the Christian divorce rate reached the same deplorable level as that of secular marriages — today more than 50% of all marriages, including those of professing Christians, result in dissolution.

Today's pulpits are virtually silent on the issue of "sin." The church has become more and more like the world. It has sought to be popular and acceptable to society, and in doing so, it has compromised its standards of morality and holiness. The scripture warns, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).

(2) Apathy toward its mission in the world. By and large, the modern church world has become mostly occupied with what God can do for them, rather than remembering their mission to reach the lost for Christ. We live in a very self-centered society, and rarely do we see churches and believers laying aside their selfish interests to serve the Lord's interests. "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Tim. 3:1,4).

The scriptures make it very clear that it is the duty of every Christian to take on the task of helping to bring people to the saving message of Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-18). But unfortunately, the statistics show that only a tiny percentage of Christians ever attempt to share their faith with others. This apathy is inexcusable and has contributed to the woes of our society, which can only be remedied by the new birth of Christ in the hearts of sinful men and women. "...if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing" (2 Cor. 4:3).

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. A newer revised version of this book is available from Amazon. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.