Why the Mission of ChristNow
Is So Critical for This Hour
There is a growing crisis inside the Church. Fundamentally, in much of the American Church today, the Lord Jesus Christ has ceased to be the supreme focus of his people. Many call this a “crisis of Christology.” Jesus is treated more like a mascot than a monarch.
Christians today are occupied with many agendas—political, social, cultural, relational, and congregational. One recent study outlined significant issues about which millions of believers are regularly concerned—like Hollywood scandals or pandemic protocols—that have little to do with the person of Christ or the agenda of his kingdom purposes.
But with all we’re facing as a nation right now, the vision of God’s Son among God’s people remains far too small. Our spiritual myopia fails to produce the overriding, consuming passion for Christ that would move Christians to join him in accelerating new advances of his kingdom throughout the land.
The contours of our crisis
The research explored in Christless Christianity (Michael Horton, 2008) verifies that many evangelical churches are actually promoting, often unconsciously, a form of “moralistic, therapeutic Deism,” with Christ left at the fringes.
Theologian J. I. Packer suggested that the Church’s current experience of its Lord could be illustrated by Humpty Dumpty: Our Christology has broken into a hundred pieces. Everyone has a piece of who Jesus is, but very few are trying to put all the pieces back together.
Richard Fox of Yale University observed that evangelicals have created a “pantheon of Jesuses” from which we pick and choose the one we need based on current felt needs.
Chuck Colson said that our churches have become “retail outlets,” with members as “consumers” and Jesus as the “product.”
Dr. Timothy George warns: “The erosion of Christ-exalting faith threatens to undermine the very identity of evangelical Christianity.”
I wonder: Could this be the reason more and more Christian leaders in America have ceased to refer to themselves as “evangelicals”? Is it because the evangelical movement in our nation has become so politicized and tribalized that no one thinks of Christ or the “evangel” (gospel) when they think of “evangelicals”?
One of the nation’s leading pastors wrote: “The reason the Church is having so little impact on our nation is because Christ is having so little impact on His Church.”
No wonder the George Barna Group summarized their demographic research this way (emphasis added):
Overall, Christian ministry is stuck in a deep rut. Too many Christians and churches in America have traded in spiritual passion for empty rituals, clever methods and mindless practices. The challenge to today’s Church is not methodological. It is the challenge to resuscitate the spiritual passion and fervor of the nation’s Christians.
The American Church Research Project concurred (2008, emphasis added):
In reality, the church in America is not booming. It is in crisis. Its renewal and restoration must begin with an awe-inspiring encounter with Jesus Christ—the crucified, resurrected and ascended Messiah and Lord. Returning to Jesus as our central focus is critical to the health and growth of missional churches.
ChristNow.com defines this pervasive crisis as a “sobering shortfall”—a debilitating deficiency in how multitudes of Christians see, seek, and savor God’s Son for ALL that he is. This is followed by the growing shortfall in how we speak, show, serve, and share God’s Son for ALL that he is.
We may be “PURPOSE-driven” in commendable ways, but multitudes are not yet truly “PERSON-driven”—passionate to know Christ and the fullness of his reign and to spread that vision to other believers as well as unbelievers.
Many of us need to be awakened to a renewed vision of the greatness and glory of the person of God’s Son. The proper order is this: If we become “Person-driven,” that makes us become more “promise-driven,” then “passion-driven,” and then “purpose-driven.” But when Christ’s PERSON is not exalted among us for ALL that he is, then believers often find themselves exhausted trying to carry out his purposes.
In the face of this core crisis of Christology,
we have one great hope.
That hope is what we describe as a “nationwide Christ Awakening movement.”
Let’s define the terms. One definition describes it like this:
A Christ Awakening takes place whenever
God’s Spirit uses God’s Word
to reintroduce God’s people
to God’s Son for ALL he is today.
Another definition goes like this:
A Christ Awakening takes place whenever
believers and churches
become wholly alive
to the whole vision of the whole Christ.
Here’s one more:
A Christ Awakening takes place whenever
God’s Spirit saturates God’s people
with the supremacy of Christ
so that God’s people begin to saturate
their communities with the gospel of Christ.
Take your pick!
Historically, we know that such fresh works of the Holy Spirit result in measurable, tangible changes—first of all, for believers, their churches, and their outreaches. Out of those transformations come increased advances of Christ’s kingdom within the culture at large as well as among the nations. Whenever Christians wake up to renewed hope, passion, prayer, and mission that are focused on the full extent of the supremacy of Christ, they rise up to serve the King of Glory in whole new ways.
Why do we use the phrase
“a nationwide Christ Awakening movement”?
In recent years, multitudes of Christians in America have been praying for a Christ Awakening—perhaps using more familiar terms like revival, renewal, reformation, spiritual revolution, or great awakening. But in essence, all are seeking God’s face to fully awaken God’s people to the fame and reign and claim of God’s Son.
Actually, as I’ve listened to thousands of these prayers during my years serving a growing US prayer initiative, I would take it a step further: Our hope is in a God-given “nationwide Christ Awakening movement.”
I call it “nationwide” to indicate that Christ Awakenings are meant to become God’s gift to all streams of the Church throughout a country—and thus able to impact the life of the society as a whole.
I call it a “movement” to highlight how Christ Awakenings spread from individuals to individuals, churches to churches, cities to cities, even one region to another—sustained by the Spirit and permeating all of life and all of society in its wake.
From centrality to supremacy
For many of us, thinking in terms of a Christ Awakening requires a fairly dramatic paradigm shift in worldview. To “come alive to the whole Christ” means we no longer allow ourselves to stop with the truth of the “centrality of Christ”—that is, his right to be at the center of who we are, where we are headed, what we are doing, and how we get blessed—as foundational as that is.
Instead, a broader outlook on every facet of the Christian life becomes shaped by the grander truth of the “supremacy of Christ.” With this expanded perspective on Jesus, the roles are reversed. Jesus must be at the center of who we are and what we do—yes! But increasingly, we must move toward and start living at the center of who he is, where he’s headed, and what his kingdom is all about. “In everything he must have the supremacy,” Paul proclaims in Colossians 1.
That is why God-initiated awakenings usually arise, in no small measure, from the sustained efforts of (what I call) “Messengers of Hope.” These are clergy and lay leaders alike who spread within their spheres of influence biblical truths and promises focused on Jesus’ ascension—on the saving wonders and majesty of Jesus seated and active on the throne of the universe.
The exaltation of Christ and his ongoing, redeeming reign is unfolding right now throughout the Church and in our nation. Proclaiming this at every opportunity stirs fellow Christians to pursue more of the fullness of Christ in their own lives. Spreading this larger vision of Christ is essential not only to igniting but also sustaining any emerging Christ Awakening movement.
This is what ChristNow focuses on every day
with all of the energy the Spirit gives us!
Confronting and curing the crisis of Christology is the heart of the mission the Father has given to us. Not only are we warning God’s people of this deadly crisis, inviting them to awaken to Christ and the full extent of his supremacy, we are also helping Jesus followers undertake this fundamental “reconversion” (as it were) back to him as the Reigning Redeemer and Lord that he is. Our hundreds of free resources of all varieties are helping thousands today discover all that it means to live at the center of who Jesus is, where Jesus is headed, what Jesus is doing, and how Jesus gets blessed.
There is no other ministry—online, in the digital space, or on the ground—like ChristNow. At the moment, we are the only outreach anywhere that’s focused exclusively on spreading the message of the supremacy of Christ and calling for a nationwide awakening to him for all he is.
We are here to serve you. Let us help you uncover the crisis of Christology in your own life and walk with you into the joys of living in the glories of Christ.
I invite you to take five-minutes to explore our homepage.
- Study the menu of options at the top.
- View HERE a three-minute video overview of what ChristNow.com offers you.
- Go HERE to watch my four-minute video introduction to ChristNow.com.
- Scroll to the icons representing twenty major categories of free resources just waiting to bless you. Check out one or two of them.
- Fill out the form on our homepage—“Join the Nationwide Christ Awakening Movement”—to ally more “officially” with ChristNow and our thousands of followers.
- Sign up HERE for Twitter to receive my daily tweets on the glories of Christ.
- Visit HERE our “Christ Now YouTube Channel.” Sample one or two video clips about Jesus.
- Enjoy HERE a recorded 15-minute “Christ Zoom Cast” titled “How to Pray for an Outpouring of Christ Upon Our Nation.”
- Read HERE my “prophetic” blog post: “The Hope at Hand: The Ultimate Answer to Our Prayers Is Drawing Near.”
- Dig even deeper. Order a copy of my most recent book: CHRIST IS NOW! Seven Groundbreaking Keys to Help You Explore and Experience the Spectacular Supremacy of God’s Son Today. Order it on AMAZON at a discount (hardback or Kindle).
Beginning today, purpose with all your soul to know and love the Lord Jesus Christ more deeply, more expansively—as far as the Holy Spirit is ready to take you.
Then, choose at least one of our resources to start “feasting” daily on “entrées” that can nourish both mind and heart with more of the wonders of our reigning Lord Jesus Christ. See him in far greater ways than you have ever known before.
Finally, tell others of the treasure trove of resources at ChristNow.com. There is always more of God’s Son for all of us to discover and delight in!
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.
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