for the Lord has an indictment against the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or loyalty
and no knowledge of God in the land.
Swearing, lying, and murder,
and stealing and adultery break out;
bloodshed follows bloodshed.
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who live in it languish;
together with the wild animals
and the birds of the air,
even the fish of the sea are perishing (Hosea 4:1-3).
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols (Acts 17:16).
I recently retired after 38 years of pastoral ministry. I am long past enamored with strategies for church growth and books on developing leadership skills when it comes to being an effective pastor or a faithful church. It’s not that such strategies and books are entirely wrong. Indeed, every one has something of value to offer. But I think the last thing the church in the West needs is another sloganeering program and flow chart with steps toward effective ministry all put in the context of the unchurched as consumers and Christianity as a commodity.