Nov 04 2019

Pastor Mike at Aztec Methodist Church

The Pew Research Organization recently released some new figures about religion in the US.  The percentage of US population saying they are Christian has shrunk dramatically over the last 10 years.  In 2009 77% of Americans said they were Christian, while 17% were atheists, agnostics, or of “no religion”.  In 2019 polls showed only 65% claiming Christianity, and 26% consider themselves in the latter category.  The remainder of the population were of other religions (Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.).   For millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) the figures are even more stark:  only 49% claim Christianity, 9% other religions, and 40% have no affiliation.  The report also notes that in the same period the Census Bureau indicates that the overall population of the US has increased by 23 million adults.

This means that there is a wide open mission field in this country.  Many of those who have left the church or never joined one claim they are spiritual persons who are seeking a relationship with God.  We know that God will respond to anyone who is seeking, but we also know that Satan will try to interfere and lead them away from God.  The figures also tell us that since God is unwilling to leave the lost to their own devises, the Spirit is at work in the world among those who are searching.

The question is, will we join God in this work?  One author about evangelism, Rebecca Pippert, remembers that as a young Christian, she knew she was supposed to reach out to non-Christians, but was afraid to do so, because she didn’t want to seem “weird”.  She wrote, “I would put off witnessing as long as possible.  Whenever the guilt became too great to bear, I overpowered the nearest non-Christian with a nonstop running monolog and then dashed away thinking, ‘Whew!  Well, I did it. It’s spring of ’74 and hopefully the guilt won’t overcome me again till winter of ’75.’ (And my non-Christian friends hoped the same!)”

She eventually realized what many Christians have found down the centuries.  The best way to evangelize is to make friends with non-Christians, not judging them or browbeating them, but loving them.  Once we are friends our walk with God will become evident, and it will come naturally to tell them what God is doing in our lives.  They may even start questioning us about our faith.  On an individual basis that seems to be the best way to share our faith:  make a friend, be a friend, introduce your friend to Jesus.

But the statistics show that the church may have problems with reaching out.  Many people have come to distrust the institution.  That is why it is imperative that we listen to God.  We know God wants to reach the lost, and God is active among them.   We also know that as Jesus sent out the disciples two by two among the villages of Galilee, God wants us to go forth.  But God will lead us to the people the Spirit has already been working with.  God may be calling us to a specific individual, or God may give us opportunities to reach out to larger groups we may be involved in.  Or God may be calling us to post something on Facebook about our faith.  We just need to be open to what God shows us.  

We know that only God can bring about a conversion of a person to become a follower of Christ.  But Romans 10:14 says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”  By “preaching” Paul is not referring to standing in front of a congregation and sharing the faith.  He is talking about individuals sharing what their relationship with God with their friends and with the world.  That is our challenge.

Aztec United Methodist Church

Sunday Schedule

8:45am   Sunday School
10:00am Worship Service

Community Assistance

Community assistance is available between 8:30am and 1:00pm from Monday through Thursday.

Upcoming Sermons

November 3
Joining the Saints
Revelation 7:9-17
Luke 19:1-10

November 10
Trusting in God
Haggai 1:14-2:9
Luke 20:27-40

November 17
Salvation and Suffering
Isaiah 12
Luke 21:5-19

November 24
An unusual King
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Luke 23:33-43

Child Care Available

Child care is available between 8:45am and 11:00am so that you are more easily able to attend the service and Sunday school.

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Daily Devotion

daily words of wisdom and faith from Upper Room Books
  • Today’s Reflection I FOUND IT painful to remember these activities and feelings, yet the memories filled me then and fill me now with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Perhaps this gratitude carried the beginning of the healing of grief with it. I do not recall having ever been so completely grateful for my mother’s life, […]

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