Christ actually exists outside our little world of the Church of Christ. Do you believe that? We must make a decision as Christ Himself did that a sign on the door means nothing as it relates to our salvation.I would ask you to search your soul over this matter. The mere fact that in your "Interests" section of your bio you list "Church of Christ" is amazing to me. That is your interest? What about Christ, or the Church. But, to put your brand of church as your interest tells me that you desperately need to look outward.Please, let's prove Barna
wrong. Let's take actions that will ensure the Church of Christ will exist after the next 30 years. If we continue to be so inward focused, I too agree with Barna that the Church of Christ will be extinct after that time.
Anonymous comments are usually omitted; but this one needed a response.
I am a member of the "church of Christ," the church that belongs to Jesus and for which He shed His precious blood. I proudly note that it belongs to Him, since there are so many man-made churches and "designer" churches in our culture today. I do not regard the name "church of Christ" as denominational or a title. I regard it as descriptive of who we are as members of the body of Christ.
I do not find any Scriptural promise of blessing or salvation for those who are outside the body of Christ. They are strangers to the covenant (Eph. 2:11-12). The body of Christ as it appeared in the New Testament always manifested itself in discernible, organized, local congregations. The church Jesus built had one Lord, one gospel, one faith, and one baptism. It was pre-denominational and knew nothing of the human divisions created by denominationalism.
There is nothing outside the New Testament church, which holds any promise of salvation or the approval of God (Matt. 15:13).
As for Barna, I do not know what study you are citing where he predicts the extinction of the church of Christ. I, for one, don't buy his conclusion, if he indeed did say such a thing. The Lord's church is not going to be extinct, thank you very much.
As for what we are doing, please let me be a little foolish (as Paul was in 2 Corinthians). While there are struggles among us, I can point to numerous congregations of churches of Christ in several states that are faithful to the Lord and growing quite well. Programs such as World Bible School, Fishers of Men, Disaster Relief, DigitalBibleStudy.com, In Search of the Lord's Way (which is one of the top 3 religious programs on television in America), Focus Press, Apologetics Press, and many others, assure me that we aren't going to dry up and blow away (even though some wish we would).
As for me personally, I teach at Nashville School of preaching and at Regions University, because I believe in training preachers. I preach on television to a potential audience of 2.5. million twice weekly because I believe in evangelism. Our website at Concord Rd (http://www.God-answers.org ) had over 1.4 million hits from nearly 100 countries in the last year. Many of them downloaded the Evangelism Handbook of New Testament Christianity and many other free materials available there. Each month I write for Think magazine (http://focuspress.org) a magazine professionally done and reaching out to members of the church and beyond. I enjoy the privilege of writing for the Spiritual Sword quite often.
Concord Rd., the congregation where I serve, supports several missionaries in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. We are heavily involved in training preachers and students in three countries. It might interest folks to know that there are now as many churches of Christ in Sub-Sahara Africa as there are in the USA; and Rick Shur of WBS, who is a dear friend, tells me that India now has about as many churches of Christ as there are in the USA.
Just a month ago, I was with Augustine Tawiah and Gabriel Oppong in the Western Region of Ghana, where we visited several congregations of the Lord's church--most of which have not been in existence even ten years! We did not have time in three days to get around to all the churches. The congregations ranged in size from 30-120. Extinct? Nonsense!
Anyone who thinks I don't love the Lord Jesus doesn't know me. I love the church, because it is the bride of Christ, my Lord.