Can Any Organization Survive With 16% Effectiveness?
A central mission of the organized Christian church is “to make disciples.”
However, only 16% of church-attending adults are involved in discipleship. Among men the picture is, if possible, even bleaker—men are only half as likely as women to be involved (Barna, 2000). The Christian church has not been effective in making disciples, especially among men, and therefore has failed significantly to achieve one of its central missions.
What does it mean that only 16% of churched people are being discipled? Well, what would you think if only 16% of our Army’s infantry could effectively fire a rifle? Or if only 16% of the patients admitted to your favorite hospital got well? Or suppose your university was only able to graduate 16% of their students? What if 84% of the leaks a plumbing company fixed in your home kept leaking? What if 84% of the time you had to watch a fuzzy TV screen?
Of course, we would go ballistic. Those organizations would be considered outright failures. Yet the Christian church has been shielded from such scrutiny, and the accountability that could lead to improved effectiveness.
We are ineffective because we are not doing what Jesus wants us to do. We are neglecting the Great Commission. Can any organization survive with only 16% effectiveness? We must challenge our churches, pastors, seminaries, and denominational leaders to lead us back to the core mission, “Go and make disciples.” Therein lies the secret of an effective church.
Together in the battle for men’s souls,
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