The Doctor’s Diagnosis

On October 6, 2008 at the First Presbyterian Church of Akron, Dr. Kent R. Hunter (a.k.a. The Church Doctor), gave a presentation on today’s church regarding current trends and future tremors. Here are a few of his key talking points

  • Yes, we are in tough times, but people are more receptive to the gospel than ever before.
  • However, we have had six churches closing every day in America for the last 20 years.
  • People are interested in spiritual things, but 60-80% think the church is irrelevant. It’s the church’s fault this is the case!
  • 60-80% of all churches are declining in attendance.
  • 20-40% are vibrant and growing churches.
  • The local church is the answer to our country’s (& world’s) problems. Think about our grandchildren! What kind of world will they live in? Will we step up in this critical time of our nation’s history?
  • We are a country w/ the 3rd largest population of non-Christians. It is to the point that foreign missionaries are now coming here!
  • We need training to be missionaries in the U.S., shifting the way we think to be more like missionaries (i.e. Acts 1:8).
  • God is love. But He does not want us to be comfortable. Being uncomfortable is not bad. Often in the depth of discomfort does God speak to us. He’s much more interested in our character than our comfort. It’s not about out comfort!
  • We are a nation driven by comfort. But missionaries are not driven by comfort. We need to be missionaries!
  • Most churches die because it’s easier to die than to think like Jesus. We need to repent.
  • America is at a spiritual crossroads, and we could make history of eternal proportions.

If there are any of the above points you’d like to comment and expand on, please feel free to. Further insight and/or opinions are always welcome and encouraged!

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~ by Dave Smith on January 4, 2009.

6 Responses to “The Doctor’s Diagnosis”

  1. Wow. That speaks right to some stuff i’ve been processing. It’s good to know I’m not alone. This Point struck home:

    “We are a nation driven by comfort. But missionaries are not driven by comfort. We need to be missionaries!”

    Thanks for the post David!

  2. Yea, that is the most bothersome for me in this period of my life. With four kids and getting pulled into “safety,” “good education,” etc, as well as liking the comforts of a megachurch, I feel the tug of comfort making some of my needed decisions more than Christ right now.

    Good to hear from you Derek and hope you are well.

  3. Most of what is said here is good, I think.

    However, I find the following to be a bit naive:

    “The local church is the answer to our country’s (& world’s) problems. Think about our grandchildren! What kind of world will they live in? Will we step up in this critical time of our nation’s history?”

    The local church – by itself, without the assistance of other organizations – is not the solution to the world’s problems. For example, we cannot address medical crisis, such as the AIDS epidemic in African. Obviously, we are not doctors, and we do not possess the relevant medical resources or knowledge to do anything about that. We cannot solve all of society’s problems. In Michigan, for example, our economy is in the tank, and it could get much worse if one of the auto makers collapses. Can the local church – by itself – solve this problem? No, we cannot.

    Thinking the local church by itself can solve these types of problems is naive at best and arrogant at worst.

  4. I cannot tell you how much this post has resonated with me. So many things in there strike right at the heart of what I have been feeling and observing about the church these past few years. The American church is dying folks. What are we going to do about it!!?

    In particular his observations about comfort hit home. As a church planter only 4 months into our official launch. This observation brings some sense to the incredibly difficult task of planting a church and the chaos it brings to ones entire life.

    I hope I never get too comfortable in my life.

    I have also found the following quote by Craig Groeschel to be poignant regarding this matter. With regard to the church in America he says,

    “To reach people who are not being reached, we (the church) must do things that are not being done”

    Derrak

  5. […] Diagnosis of the Church Just ran across a blog post by my friend Dave Smith entitled, The Doctor’s Diagnosis. It is the summary of a talk given last year by Dr. Kent R. Hunter .  I found it very interested […]

  6. Derrak,

    Great to hear that you have ventured out doing church planting. You are the perfect person to lead such a hard task, rooted in truth, while allowing for playful experimentation.

    Praying it goes well.

    -dave

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