Before we do this, we want to use this painting of the Lord Jesus looking over the world to remind us that it is His world. It is reminiscent of when Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). He created the world and then redeemed it by coming into the world to reveal His plan for redemption and to launch that plan by His death on the cross.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created…. He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not recognize Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name. (John 1:1-3, 11-12, Holman)
When the Jews rejected Him as their Messiah, He revealed a new plan for the redemption of the world: His Church. He said “I will build my church. The gates of hell will not be strong enough to destroy it.” (Matt. 16:18b NISVR).
That is why we have used the caption – “His Church – His World.” Yet, many Christians, when asked about the church they attend, will say it is “my church.” Could this seemingly harmless figure of speech hide an insidious danger that threatens all of Western civilization?
Many Christians refer to the church they attend as “my church.”. They may say this as a term of affection for that particular church. However, as time passes and the Great Commission loses importance, these same people devote increasing amounts of time, effort, and money to those activities that are primarily for their own benefit.
A seemingly harmless figure of speech becomes a deep-seated belief whereby “my church” means nobody has a right to change anything about “my church” without “my approval.”
This phenomenon reveals an important reason why so many churches in the United States are declining. Many local churches, which claim to be part of His Church, are in fact the possession of the people who have taken control of those congregations.
They no longer focus outwardly on a lost and dying world. There is little or no external growth, especially through the conversion of non-Christians. Almost all of their attention is internally focused.
Therefore, the promise Christ gave in Matthew 16:18 no longer applies to those congregations. Because they are not “His Church,” He is not building it and the powers of hell can and do overcome that local church.
Everything we desire to accomplish through Growth Ministries International is intended to reverse this decline in the American Church of Jesus Christ. We realize that in many parts of the Third World or Global South, the Church of Jesus Christ is having unprecedented growth. We also know that these nations where these churches are growing are not likely to ever replace the positive influence of the United States.
We will cooperate with everyone who genuinely shares this passion. We know that our nation was founded on the biblical principles encapsulated in the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
We also know that America is the last bastion of biblical Christianity in the Western World, or the Global North, as it is now being called. Therefore, if the United States continues on the downward spiral it is now traveling, the complete collapse of Western civilization as we now know it may soon follow. We also know that the only way to reverse this decline is by the revitalization and growth of the true Church of Jesus Christ. To that end we dedicate this ministry.