Ever wondered why the modern church is ineffective? Wouldn’t you want to know? Are believers doing what they should be doing? Are we contending for the faith? The recent pandemic revealed a shocking truth, that would lead one to conclude why the modern church is ineffective. In this post, we will cover ten reasons why the modern church is ineffective.
There is division in the body of Christ
‘ And knowing their thoughts, He said to them, Any kingdom that is divided against itself is being brought to desolation and laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will last or continue to stand.’ Matthew 12:25 AMPC
Jesus had just healed a man who was demon-possessed. When the Pharisees heard what was happening, they claimed that Jesus was driving out demons through the power of Beelzebub, the Prince of demons. This brings me to the first reason why the modern church is ineffective, division. Whilst we are concerned about who is false and who is true, our priority has shifted to picking out the faults and judging who is of God. One might be tempted to think that such things only happen to non-Christians. However, who are we told started a wrangle on greatness in the Kingdom? The disciples.
When Jesus was teaching his disciples, their focus shifted to some leadership wrangle, as they asked who the greatest in the kingdom is. When we are more concerned with the leadership roles within the church or which denomination is the ‘right’ one we miss out on the issues that truly matter. Rather than embracing the unity of the truth, we have caused divisions amongst ourselves labeling each other. Each and every church or faction was founded on revelation. However, no matter how powerful that revelation is, it cannot replace the truth. Revelation is an extension of the truth.
We have been enlisted to serve as ambassadors and sons in the Kingdom of God, and our primary aim is to please God in our service. We should not get entangled in the daily affairs that distract our focus and deter us from the path set before us. Know the purpose God has created you for and live it out!
The traditions of man
‘And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”’ Mark 7:13 NLT
Bishop TD Jakes once said the problem with today’s churches is that the men are serving the same systems that were created to serve them. We have become so concerned and obsessed with keeping order, and staying according to schedule that we miss the move of the Holy Spirit. In today’s church, we find that more people are concerned and obsessed with church systems that we miss the true gospel.
We do not even understand some of the things we find ourselves doing because they do not have biblical backing (I explain more on this in the next point). It’s about the schedules, the programs, that have all replaced the Word of God. Having systems and structures we adhere to is noble and helps put order in the church. However, if men start serving those systems, instead of being served by them, there is a big problem.
The summation of our calling is NOT serving during a Sunday Service. You will find that some people revere certain acts of service in the body of Christ above others. Certain gifts tend to receive the limelight more than others. However, the gifts God has given men are all important for the function of the body of Christ. Therefore, in order to see the manifestation of God’s glory in the body of Christ, all these gifts should work in unison.
‘“My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Hosea 4:6 MSG
Another reason why the modern church is ineffective is ignorance. People are not hungry enough to hear God for themselves. Instead, modern believers depend on the word they receive every Sunday and forget it by the time leave the church building. This has made believers gullible to agents of the devil. They are deceived to believe everything that they hear.
Seeking the Kingdom of God goes beyond sitting in the pews and listening during every church service. If we are instructed to meditate on the word day and night, which service will we be listening to at night? Unless we action the word we have heard, the hallelujahs and amens are powerless. We quickly take up practices we do not understand without asking why.
Ask yourself what is missing when believers are doing everything they are being told to do in the church and it’s not working for everyone else but the pastor, or worse putting them in a worse situation? Is there a secret that’s not being shared? What you do not understand will not work for you. Ignorance is an enemy more powerful than the devil because our success on earth is founded on knowledge.
It’s important to hear God for yourself regarding your life, family, nation, or pursuits so that you avoid being deceived by the enemy.
‘“But don’t look for someone to blame. No finger-pointing! You, priest, are the one in the dock. You stumble around in broad daylight, And then the prophets take over and stumble all night. Your mother is as bad as you. My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you priests. Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God, I’m no longer recognizing your children. The more priests, the more sin. They traded in their glory for shame. They pig out on my people’s sins. They can’t wait for the latest in evil.
The result: You can’t tell the people from the priests, the priests from the people. I’m on my way to making them both pay and take the consequences of the bad lives they’ve lived. They’ll eat and be as hungry as ever, have sex, and get no satisfaction. They walked out on me, their God, for a life of rutting with whores. ‘ Hosea 4:4-10 MSG
One thing that we tend to overlook is the grace of God. We’ve abused it to think one can live in sin and still experience the supernatural power of God. The bible does tell us that His gifts are without reproach and we have seen people in the bible who God has used in spite of their sin. However, this does not condone sin. Perpetual sin and idolatry in the church become the ruin of man.
The bible also tells us that darkness has nothing to do with the light. If we deliberately go on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, the bible says, there is no more sacrifice to cover these sins. The devil is very cunning and it is a believer’s responsibility to flee every form of evil. As believers, we should be resolute about living lives that are honorable to God. If the church continues to deliberately sin, then it becomes a major reason why the modern church is ineffective and powerless.
A lack of faith
‘What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? ‘ James 2:14 NLT
Faith without works is dead. It yields no results whatsoever. Whilst separation of church from state helps liberate a society; some believers have taken that literally to mean the church has no place in government or policymaking. Today’s believers are driven by fear and would rather stay comfortable than stand up for the truth. Another reason why the modern church is ineffective is a lack of faith.
The recent COVID 19 pandemic saw this. How many of us Christians or religious leaders had the courage to publicly stand up to the various organizations to expose the devil’s schemes? I only know a handful of people from an approximate 2 billion self-proclaimed Christians globally. I hope you know that Covid was more than just a disease. This was one of the enemy’s strategies aimed at bringing bondage and disorientation to mankind.
How many believers in the early church were willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Surprisingly, many can stand up for injustice or against human rights violations against them but not for Jesus. If we are to experience and walk in the supernatural power of God, we should be willing to go to great lengths with God. And sometimes it starts with simply obeying what God has spoken to you directly, no matter how unusual it may seem.
We claim the presence of a Holy Spirit with no power thereof
‘ But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.’ Acts 1:8 AMPC
We have turned the Holy Spirit into a mere Pentecostal sensation or the wind. He is so much more than that. He is the manifest presence of God. As human beings, we are limited in our own operations. We do not always know what lies ahead hence we do not know how to prepare for it. The Holy Spirit was given to us to assist in this regard. He guides us into all truth and helps us in our weaknesses. The bible tells us that when the spirit comes on us, we receive power.
I do not discredit the work the Holy Spirit is doing across the world through many anointed men and women of God. There is so much more that can be done when Christians engage the Holy Spirit. It does not have to start and end with those called to the five-fold ministry, it’s for every believer. If we look at the number of Christians in proportion to the number of people across the globe, there is so much more transformation we can witness in government, policy-making, and business.
We limit the operation of God
‘Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]–’ Ephesians 3:20 AMPC
For the average believer, the summation of their faith is in believing in God for material things. Believing God for a breakthrough or miracle. Whether that is a job, money, a husband or wife, child, house, or car, we set conditions on how God should operate, limiting Him. If we were to remove the miracles, signs, and wonders, how many today would still profess to be Christian?
The reason why the modern church is ineffective is that we expect God to work a certain way, use certain vessels, and conditions that are not even supported in his word. Take the Pharisees for example, they waited for a Christ that would look and live a certain way, none of which was recorded in the scriptures. That way in the years Jesus walked the earth, most of them did not experience what they had set their lives aside for. The text tells us that God’s power has the ability to exceed our thoughts. This means, that if we can think of it, God can exceed it.
Bargaining with God
This also echoes the point previously mentioned on ignorance. Do this and God will do this for you. Bargaining with God is evidence of a lack of trust in His character, willingness, and ability. We have seen this happen a lot especially when it comes to giving offerings in church. We have made God transactional because of our lack of understanding of His sovereignty. Is this really reflective of God’s nature?
It’s one thing to do a spiritual exercise out of understanding the law and it’s another, to try to bargain with God. Many believers do not see results in their prayers or in their own lives because of this transactional kind of faith. Instead, the premise of our giving is that we should receive, rather than be driven by a cheerful heart, and a genuine desire to invest in God’s Kingdom.
True power comes from walking in actionable faith. The patriarchs of faith as we know the know them today were men and women who moved in the supernatural realm because of their obedience. It wasn’t their ability to coerce God to do what they wanted but their willingness to go where God was leading them.
We are after miracles, signs, and wonders and not intimacy
‘ For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,’ 2 Timothy 4:3 AMPC
Another reason why the modern church is ineffective is that some people only pray when they need something from God. Whether they are in a desperate situation or crisis, this is the only time they get on their knees to pray. There is work to be done, yet, we are more concerned about breakthroughs, and miracles that we are willing to compromise on the truth, just to get what we want.
Many people have flooded churches or have moved from one church to the other in search of miracles. Whilst the evidence of power is needed, not all signs and wonders are from God. One thing that the bible has taught us is that a man or woman can prophesy accurately and yet not be from God. To avoid this deception, we need to seek intimacy because as the bible tells us, the authority of sonship comes from a relationship with God.
Our teachings are more SEO and algorithm-driven
‘Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good, pleasing, and perfect.’ Romans 12:2 NLT
We have to understand that Jesus wasn’t trying to be politically correct. He opposed the Pharisees and Sadducees who thought of themselves as religious. And in that, He was still able to make a global impact, which He still makes even to this day. He didn’t have to conform or adapt to what everyone else was doing or what people considered acceptable, His concern was doing the will of the Father.
One of the reasons why the modern church is ineffective in its reach and impact even when Jesus did all the work is that we are more concerned about what is in, at the expense of teaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with SEO. As a matter of fact, I believe Search Engine Optimization is a strategy we can adopt so that we get the gospel to those who need to hear it the most, and that is everyone. However, when SEO and marketing are done such that the Word of God is twisted, then we have lost it completely.
Desist from withholding the convicting parts so that you stay popular with the crowd. Stop trying to filter out the double-edged sword that judges our thoughts and hearts, just so we can stay in the in-crowd. There is no change that comes with conformity. This walk of faith as believers requires us to be bold enough to speak the truth of God’s word no matter how people will take it. It may require wisdom, however, the foundation should be compromised.