God’s Leaders Needed Now

The America I was raised in was saturated with the influence of evangelical Christians. While it is hard to define the meaning of the word “evangelical,” I view it as those followers of Christ who believe the Bible is true, who believe that they should share the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and who seek to live by its teachings in every area of their life.

But America is now in the midst of a rapid, cultural change. The very group of people who brought the salt and light of the gospel to this generation are now broadly considered a fading minority and for some, the source of the problems in our nation.

I grew up when it was normal to hear a Christian prayer over the public address system each morning before the opening bell to start the school day. It was normal for a man to marry a woman and a family to consist of a father, a mother and their children and to live together under one roof. It was normal in my childhood to witness people weeping in church as they were moved by a deep sense of conviction over their personal sin.

All of these occurrences and many others in the America I knew are diminishing.

I have been reading The Great Evangelical Recession, 6 Factors that Will Crash the American Church and How to Prepare by John S. Dickerson. It is a sobering wake up call supported by strong research and factual analysis. As my wife, Ann, said, “This is not good bedtime reading.”

Dickerson, a former award-winning journalist and now a pastor in Prescott, Arizona, makes the following conclusions:

  • The fuel of American evangelicalism – dollars – is disappearing and will dwindle over the next three decades.
  • The church is losing millions of our own people – about  2.6 million per decade.
  • The evangelical church is not winning new believers fast enough to keep pace with rapid population growth in the United States.
  • The external climate is turning against evangelicals. The fastest growing subcultures in the United States express militant antagonism against Christians who take the Bible seriously.
  • The cultural debates and theological differences among the church that remains are splintering and splitting the church.

Having just returned from my trip to Turkey where I gathered with Crown’s European leaders, I came away with the painful awareness that there is no “bottom” to how far we can fall. Europe, once the motherland of the great theologians and the birthplace of Bible translations and sweeping revivals that impacted the world, is today scornful of those who believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word and authoritative over human opinion and philosophies.

While Dickerson offers a number of very insightful and helpful solutions to reverse the trends facing the evangelicals in America, I have summarized his recommendations into a single call to action: God’s leaders are needed now.

My appeal to you, no matter your circumstances, is to recognize that you can make a profound difference by getting engaged in the process of making disciples within your spheres of influence whether that is in your home, church, place of work, community or mission field. In fact, you are needed everywhere God has placed you, right now.

The Church is designed to multiply through this very simple, yet highly effective model: faithful people passing on God’s truth to other faithful people. Paul expressed this relational strategy to his young disciple Timothy.

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
II Timothy 2:2

On April 15th, Crown will release our new, in-depth MoneyLife™ Personal Finance Study. It is both Biblical and very practical.

We have worked for over a year to ensure that the financial tools, the visual stories and the Bible study work together to deliver a comprehensive solution to overcoming financial challenges and achieving God’s purposes for your life.

MLPFS

It is easy to use and can be customized for any length from 4 to 10 weeks to meet the needs of your group.

This material has been carefully designed for leaders to use in their ministry to serve others regardless of their experience level or financial training.

You can preview the material here: www.crown.org.

When you lead the Crown MoneyLife Personal Finance Study, three very important outcomes occur:

The individual student has personal needs met.
Many of the students will become faithful stewards and invest their earthly treasure in building and expanding the Church.
Some students will faithfully multiple by leading others through the study in their sphere of influence.

All of these outcomes are direct needs according to the research in The Great Evangelical Recession. In other words, our partnership, our mutual efforts will serve the greatest need in the Church today, to see faithful disciples who are committed to the growth of the Church.

You are needed and you are needed now.

Please join us in this urgent and vital cause to be the salt and light needed in the world right now.

Chuck Bentley

If you decide to lead a group, please let me and the others who read my blog know by leaving a comment here.  It will be a great encouragement to all.

About Chuck Bentley

CEO, Crown Mininstries
This entry was posted in Handwriting on the Wall. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to God’s Leaders Needed Now

  1. Susan K Stowe, Crown Associate says:

    I feel and see where you are coming from on this, but you need to know this too, many churches you are unaware of are changing to meet these needs. They are all around you but not so well known YET. Read: “Church is a Team Sport” Jim Putman, and “Your Spiritual Authority” Charles Capps, Chapter 13 sub-”A Prophetic Utterance” I belong to one of the churches of the Last Days. We are jointly striving to be a “biblical church from the days of the original Disciples.” Our Vision and Mission is “Going into the world sharing Christ and making biblical disciples through intentional relationships”. Rejoice, we are all growing disciples, and God is providing to make it happen!

  2. Alan Cech says:

    Chuck, my wife and I led some Crown classes many years ago….I think we need to start another series using this new material. Where do we sign up??

    • chuckbentley says:

      Wonderful news Alan. The new MoneyLife Personal Finance study is available at Crown.org. We are offering a discount for early purchases right now

  3. Candace Johnson says:

    I do not believe I can teach a class, but would love to attend one. Could you please let me know if there might be one in the Dayton area, and the cost to attend.

    Thank you,
    Candace

    • chuckbentley says:

      Candace, if you send us your email we can let you know where and how to get involved in your area.

  4. Andy Buske says:

    How is the MoneyLife Study different from the Life Group Study? Is this intended to replace the Life Group Study? Is there a participant’s pack or does everyone buy the same pack or is only a leader’s pack required (and the participants don’t need to buy anything)? I think it’s confusing at this point. I think you are meaning to replace the Life Group Study, but the Life Group Study is still available. At the same time, it doesn’t seem like everything is available for the MoneyLife Study.

    Also, you say that the MoneyLife Study can be a 4-week study, but there is no explanation of this would work. As a Life Group Leader, I’m not sure how this fits.

    Thanks
    Andy Buske

    • chuckbentley says:

      Good questions Andy. The new study is not a replacement for the existing study. We encourage our Life Group leaders to continue to use our original study if that is their preference. However, there are a number of differences between the two: 1) the ML study is designed to be used in a shorter format to fit for classes that can only meet for an hour 2) it incorporates more video teaching to assist the inexperienced leader to facilitate the group and 3) there is only one workbook…it is a student guide with the leader’s guide included so that students can become leaders using the same material. Regarding the length, the study is 10 weeks but designed to be modular to fit the needs of the group. If a group can only meet for 6 weeks, we included a guide to select the six weeks they want to cover with the balance done outside the group meetings. Our hope is that every group will do all ten weeks but that no group opts out if they cannot complete the entire course in the available time to gather. Happy to direct you to someone who can give you more information. I hope you will try the new study and see which one is a best fit for your ministry. You are the definitely needed for such a time as this Andy.

  5. ENO, Aniefiok says:

    This wonderful and timely and needful for the church globally but subscription is not available for my countru Nigeria. Please we need it here too. Thanks and GOD bless and contine streghten you for this good work.

    • chuckbentley says:

      Thank you Aniefiok! We intend to make this study available to the globe at our Global Reunion in 2013. I hope you can get the material one day soon.

  6. Fis Sotire says:

    I am a Christian Business woman interested in leading other women into businesses and financial freedom in order to support Jesus’s ministry today as Joanna & Sussana did when The Lord was here in the flesh. I will like to know more about your ministry and how I can be part of it. The work of The Lord needs all hands on deck.

    • chuckbentley says:

      Thank you Fis! We will soon release our new materials for business leaders! Please stay in contact as we welcome your help! All hands on deck!

  7. Jim Evans says:

    I have a number of people in my church that are interested in taking this Bible study. I am happy to lead the first group, when the materials become available. I am also a Crown Money Life Mentor. Jim Evans

    • chuckbentley says:

      Great news Jim! Let me know how it goes when you lead the new study. Keep up your much needed service.

  8. What would it take to lead a group? We are working on debt reduction very diligently at the moment.

    • chuckbentley says:

      Hi Jeremy…The material is intended to be user friendly for Christian leaders regardless experience or training. Since you are on the journey to become debt free it would be a great encouragement to others who need to be inspired and instructed to follow. Keep going and let me know what you decide to do.

  9. Bethany says:

    Have you heard of My Hope with Billy Graham? Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is addressing in America and Canada this year the VERY SAME concerns that you laid out in this newsletter. It is relationship evangelism to teach any Christian how to reach those in our sphere of influence with the love and hope of the gospel, giving training and tools to get past the two biggest hurdles that most Christians feel: “I don’t know what to say” and “I’m afraid to say it”. After getting half-way through your newsletter, I half expected to see a message encouraging your readers to get involved in My Hope, because it so closely aligns with what you wrote! And your Crown materials would be a great resource to use in continued follow-up with new believers from My Hope who are looking to apply the Bible to their lives. It could be a great cooperation!!

    Check it out: myhopewithbillygraham.org

    • chuckbentley says:

      Thanks Bethany. We appreciate BGA and would love to partner with other organizations committed to making disciples.

  10. James W says:

    I’d love to ask my pastor that we launch this study at our church.
    James Williams,
    Jhb, South Africa

    • chuckbentley says:

      James, we have an office in S. Africa with many materials ready for you to use in Joburg. I hope you will join in our effort!

  11. marcia says:

    Would like to teach and mentor

  12. Handre de Jongh says:

    Very true Chuck. God is calling leaders to take their place in society and stand for the truth. Thank you for your blog.

  13. Steve Brooks says:

    I am planning on leading the new study this summer and again in the fall. I am asking all of my Crown Associates to do the same. I am very excited about this new resource and believe it will be used by God to transform many lives.
    Steve Brooks, Crown Area Manager

    • chuckbentley says:

      Steve, really appreciate the multiplication that is happening through your leadership in Arizona. I pray that the study will transform many into faithful stewards who are fully sold out to God’s purposes with money. Press on brother!

  14. Mark says:

    Thanks for sharing Chuck. I am a 26 year old God fearing, others loving man. I completely agree with your article, and our best tool is prayer. God is working in my life moving me strongly toward full time ministry. Having studied short biographies of Jonathan Edwards, and George Whitefield (among others), it is very clear to me where our brothers and sisters are falling short. We are too busy trying to keep up (stay “relevant”) with modern culture and all we’re doing is giving God a second rate acknowledgement while majoring in mood lighting and all the fancy new equipment. We need Godly leaders who get deep into their relationship with God who do exactly what God calls them to do, so the words of our sermons and the words of our lives will be the words of God and not men.

    I just finished a 6 week crown Study which was extremely helpful and such a blessing. Prayers and blessings to you all at Crown in your continuing ministry. God bless.

  15. Pingback: God’s Leaders Needed Now | MrHerrera

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