The most brilliantly professional organization ever built!

Over the last 40-some years I have worked in or worked with many institutions, including the military and its contractors, universities, high tech startup companies, corporations both huge and small, and a wide variety of churches. Additionally, along with the rest of you, I have necessarily had to deal with the infinite variety of government and commercial institutions that facilitate a typical life in modern America, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, life insurance companies, utility companies, Walmart, and Taco Bell. Some of these relationships are both voluntary and pleasurable; others are necessary but unpleasant.

What I have observed is that organizations within some institutions tend to be competent while others aren’t. You have, too, of course. What I offer here is a rank-ordering, from top to bottom, of the most professional, the most competent institutions in America over the last couple of generations. How do I define professional competence? My assessment is qualitative, but based on the following criteria:

a. How focused and how effective are they in accomplishing their mission, their stated purpose? How efficiently do they do their work? Is the organizational structure effective for accomplishing the mission?
b. How important is the organization’s work? How much does it really matter whether they do a good job? Is motivation commensurate with the gravity of the mission?
c. How does the organization treat outsiders, including customers, stakeholders, the adjacent community, and just anyone that crosses its path?
d. How high is morale? How strong is unit cohesion? How well and in what manner do members within a given organization engage with one another? How much “teamwork” is really there? How transient are the members?
e. How well trained / educated are the members? How dedicated are the leaders? How do leaders and followers interact? Under crisis, when performance above and beyond is demanded, how do people respond?
f. How does the work develop the personality, character, and integrity of the members? Is being part of the organization a ‘good thing’ for the individual and his family, or does it tend toward damage.

Clearly, such an analysis would properly require several large tomes. But this is just a blog, so we’ll cover the whole spectrum in just a few pages; hopefully, stimulating some thought on your part about how you invest your time, energy, and money, and what you can do to make your favorite organization(s) better.

I divide the professional landscape into 6 major sectors. These 6 are not exhaustive, but do account for most of the institutions out there. Whatever you think I’ve missed, I’m sure you can attach it to one of the 6 sectors. Also, please note that I’m speaking ‘trends’ here . . . statistics. Within any low-ranked institutional sector, you just might find some incredibly competent organization. Similarly, you can occasionally find a sickly organizational dog that somehow survives within a highly ranked sector.

The six sectors are easily divided into two main groups. The top three are “above the line” and the bottom three are below. The demarcation line is my overall assessment: competent or incompetent, professional vs. unprofessional. You’ll see why as we march downhill from Sector 1 to Sector 6.

So without further ado . . .

Sector 1: Combat Arms

The American military has had no peer, quite demonstrably, since about 1944. At the ‘tip of the speer’ are combat units, whether Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, or Special Forces. Think about a Special Forces unit (Seal, Delta Force, etc.) with respect to the competence criteria above. The mission is often vitally important, putting life and death in the balance for friend and enemy. The stakes can include the freedom and security of entire nations. Morale is high and members regularly put their own lives on the line for their teammates. Leaders and followers share risks and burdens. Training is extraordinarily demanding and not many qualify to be part of this team. Few want to step up to such standards. Internal communication is efficient. Good ideas are embraced, even when generated by the lowest ranks. Organizational structure is embodied by the slogan, “lean, mean, fighting machine.”

Weaknesses? Yes, with regard to several criteria above. Transience is an issue. Especially within Special Forces, members often opt out after a few years. It’s hard to maintain that intensity, even if one survives multiple missions. Further, excellence tempts to arrogance. If you’re the best, it’s hard not to look down on the not-so-hot. Additionally, advanced development of kill-skills may make it hard to develop compassion, sweetness, trust . . . virtues vital to making strong marriages and raising well-adjusted children. Deployments away from the family take a toll. It’s a tough life during times of conflict around the globe. A lot of marriages don’t survive. More could be done to mitigate such problems. Nevertheless, I award – without hesitation – the Sector 1 distinction to those who fight selflessly for security and freedom.

Nevertheless, Combat Arms is NOT the most brilliantly professional institution ever designed. Then what is? Keep reading.

Sector 2: Defense R&D

This is where I spent a large chunk of my career, both on the government and on the contractor side. I award Sector 2 especially to the contractor community within Defense Research and Development. The folks that make defense contractors excel are highly educated, well-managed, and motivated to create high tech systems that work. Their motivation often goes well beyond the desire for mere profit . . . although they are, indeed, well paid.

The mission is to put into the hands of the troops the world’s best weapons, communication systems, transport vehicles, and whatever it takes to protect friendly lives and to intimidate or decimate enemy forces. In air combat, for example, imagine that U.S. forces go to battle against a numerically comparable enemy. But if we have the best airborne radar systems, secure command and control, with fighters and missile systems a generation beyond the enemy’s . . . the fight isn’t even fair. The opposition’s entire Air Force may be destroyed with almost no friendly losses. Indeed, this scenario has played out on a number of occasions, including both Gulf Wars.

F-22 Raptor

Modern stealth fighters, surveillance satellites, attack submarines, tanks, and aircraft carriers are among the most complex designs spawned by human creativity. The engineers and scientists in this sector work brilliantly and efficiently, knowing the stakes. They work well with their military counterparts, but sometimes too well with other stakeholders . . . politicians, for example. Too much politics and fair competition suffers, along with cost-effectiveness at times.
But overall, no other group in any other nation can top these folks in producing the materiel of war.

Morale is high. Most people love to work in a successful R&D company. Competition is fierce between companies aiming for the same contract – the next generation fighter or cruise missile, etc. Yet companies tend to compete fairly, winning or losing on one bid, but then perhaps teaming up to compete for the next one. A career in this sector does not necessarily help or harm an individual’s character or his family. It’s up to the individual how to balance his life. Workaholism is not a given, but merely a temptation; however, a temptation often yielded to. Sector 2 doesn’t entail the levels of risk, intensity, or all-consuming dedication of Sector 1, yet stands significantly above Sector 3, where life is a bit easier, but still demands professional excellence.

Since Sector 1 does not represent the most brilliant institution in history, then clearly Sector 2 cannot. Please plod on and we will resolve this conundrum.

Sector 3: Commercial Enterprise

Still “above the line” are the multitudes of companies that make up our free market system. These include designers and manufacturers of PCs, laptops, autos, and cameras; publishers of books, magazines and newspapers; retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and Best Buy; and service providers like auto repair shops, dentists, and carpet cleaners. To survive and to thrive in business requires a serious level of competence. We tend not to notice competence in the commercial sector, but we quickly recognize when someone screws up. If screw-ups are persistent, we merely find another restaurant or shop elsewhere. The incompetent go bankrupt. That’s motivation.

Innovation in the commercial sector tends to be far more incremental than in Sector 2. Furthermore, many of the technological marvels we can now buy online were once developed in Sector 2; for example, megapixel CCD arrays, ubiquitous in cameras and smart phones, were developed originally for military surveillance missions. In Sector 3, advanced degrees are often not required. Training for Target “associates” is several orders of magnitude less intensive than for Army Ranger units. Nevetheless, employees must operate well as a team. Big companies need to be well-organized in order to integrate skill sets within large employee rosters. Small companies must have highly motivated workers who can multitask and do whatever it takes to satisfy picky customers.

As customers, we’re quite sensitive to how well a company treats us. We tend to become repeat customers when employees are quick, efficient, and friendly. If we’re ignored . . . or worse . . . we vote with our feet immediately. We’re also very sensitive to price, which depends tightly on efficient management and streamlined company operations.

Nevertheless, with respect to Sectors 1 and 2, the commercial sector is intrinsically weaker in several respects. Both managers and employees have little loyalty. If not paid or treated well, they will find another job . . . similarly, if asked to go “above and beyond” too often. In Sector 1, “above and beyond” is simply part of the job. Sector 3 jobs have little impact on character development and family life. The individual has great liberty in America to find the job that fits his morals and lifestyle.

——————– THE LINE OF MINIMAL COMPETENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM ——————–

Sector 4: Civil Government

I’ll start with a very specific example, merely to illustrate the broader governmental institutional trend. Recent visits to a Department of Motor Vehicles provoke the following observations:

Office hours are 8-5, Monday to Friday . . . precisely the hours that most of their “customers” work. By 8 am the line outside the door has at least 30 people. If you show up as late as 8:30, you can expect a 2 to 3 hour wait. (Imagine getting treated like this at Kohl’s or Costco! (Don’t bring up Black Friday. That’s your fault, not theirs!)) How can they get away with mistreating their customers? Because they can. They are the feudal overlords. We are the serfs. We can’t avoid them. You dare not drive without a license or tags on your vehicle. They have no competitors. If they actually cared, they would run their office via two shifts, 7 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday. There certainly is enough cash flow to enable a more customer-friendly environment.

Although “below the line” that any “professional” institution should allow itself, government organizations still get the job done. The roads get repaired, the garbage gets collected, and taxes get allocated to police and fire departments. But not without much pain. Government entails considerable waste because they are going to get your money whether they are cost-effective or not. The employees have well-paid jobs whether they perform well or not. Now, I did note that in my two most recent adventures with the DMV, the two clerks I dealt with were extremely helpful and apparently quite competent. In fact, they seemed somewhat embarrassed by the pain inflicted by their organization. So individuals certainly can rise to high levels of professionalism within dysfunctional organizations. But the trend is quite the contrary.

How about “above and beyond” in Sector 4? Perhaps some clerks on a Friday afternoon might volunteer to stay until midnight – without extra pay! – to make sure all the customers get served. Hah! Yet in Sectors 1 and 2 such dedication is common; and occasionally pops up in Sector 3. Teamwork is accordingly weak. Organizational loyalty is low, yet many stay in their jobs for decades. Upgrading to a Sector 3 job is too scary!

How does Sector 4 affect personal development and family life? You might think there would not be much relevance. You would be wrong. Employees can’t help ingesting some of the values of the workplace. Mediocrity at work translates into mediocrity in personal development and tempts toward low expectations for your family. If you’re a minimally competent civil servant, you won’t as likely push your kids into a higher sector.

By the way, especially since the ridiculously named, “Affordable Care Act,” medical care – a seventh of the American economy – clearly fits within Sector 4. As the government takes more and more control, watch it slip to the very bottom of this sector. I have observed throughout my lifetime that the trend for doctors and hospitals is to be far more concerned with their own liabilities than with fixing my particular medical problem. Thus more expensive “tests” and less actual help. Also . . . have you noticed . . . there is no other sector in the economy where you can pay SO MUCH and get no money-back guarantee. Amazing when you think about it.

Sector 5: Education

Sector 5 employees suffer many of the problems of Sector 4, but sink lower in the ranking in significant ways. From pre-school through college, the mission should be clear: train students with skills necessary to make a living and make a life. Yet American students fall far below their international peers in math, reading, and science. In a Washington Post column, December 3, 2013, reporter Lyndsey Layton notes,

“The test scores offer fresh evidence for those who argue that the United States is losing ground to global competitors and others who say a decade’s worth of school reform has done little to improve educational outcomes.

‘While the intentions may have been good, a decade of top-down, test-based schooling created by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top — focused on hyper-testing students, sanctioning teachers and closing schools — has failed to improve the quality of American public education,’ said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.”

But it’s far worse than merely mediocre performance on the basics. For generations, secular humanists and New Agers have infested school curricula with evolution, atheism, pantheism, globalism, and Marxism; all the while working hard to promote both hetero- and homosexual promiscuity. The educators that control the K-to-College establishment, including the teacher unions (like the AFT and the NEA), are far more interested in developing unisex socialist drones than they are in imparting skills. And the teachers, administrators, and staff in every school march lock step in this damnable system, whether or not they – individually – are supposedly sweet or moral individuals.

Additionally, education comes at a high price economically. Look at your property taxes, especially the amount apportioned to the local schools. And take a gander at your local high school’s facilities, including the football stadium. You’re paying for all that.

Yet Sector 5 is not the bottom of the barrel. Why not? Multitudes of students still learn to read and write. Many go on to excel in mathematics, science and engineering . . . a fraction of which become the innovators that lead Sectors 2 and 3. Some educators excuse incompetence by proclaiming how innovative and productive the American economy is. All the while they are indoctrinating students in socialist principles that hinder and threaten to destroy the economy. And deliberately lying, because they know that it only takes a small minority to innovate, who will do so despite how poorly they were raised.

I note that at the university level, Americans tolerate gross inefficiency and waste. It has been no secret for several decades that the most prestigious universities in America are run by faculty who prioritize their well-funded research far above the quality of undergraduate education. Exceptions abound, of course. There are many hard-working, exceptionally talented educators who devote their lives to teaching undergraduates. But the overwhelming statistical trend is to hire highly paid researchers, who may occasionally teach ONE undergraduate course per semester, so they can spend most of their time managing graduate students and publishing papers, building the prestige of their university. If the students are lucky, that is. In science and engineering too much of the face-time that students have with instructors is with TAs – foreign grad students who are not entirely articulate in English. In fact, our major universities are run by the faculty and for the faculty. The quality of undergraduate education is truly a low priority.

Much of undergraduate education is destructive. Psychology majors spend four years learning wrong things about what people are like, since their philosophical foundation is atheism and evolution. Courses in the social sciences and humanities work to indoctrinate, not educate. Elementary and high school teacher candidates are taught the latest in how to efficiently turn children into New Age serfs.

Yet our universities pump out engineers, scientists, and many other professionals. So the job does get done to some degree, despite the corruption and inefficiencies. So what’s at the bottom of the barrel?

Sector 6: American evangelical and fundamentalist churches

“Come on,” you say. “You can’t be serious!” Oh, but I am. Having worked within or closely with all six sectors, I stand by this sad conclusion after decades of study. Consider the two intertwined missions of the institution of the local church: evangelism and discipleship. Let’s talk evangelism first. The most vital mission ever conceived in world history – far above any mission relevant to Sector 1 – is to inform men and women, boys and girls, that they are accountable to their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ; that everyone will be judged, that Heaven and Hell are in the balance, and that repentance and faith are the simple, yet essential acts of heart and mind to pass from lost to saved, from darkness to light, to obtain a resurrected body and to become a citizen of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

So how are we doing? I have written much on this subject throughout this web site, so I will be as brief as I can stand to be. Most churches don’t even try. Deceitfully, they redefine evangelism to mean food baskets at Thanksgiving, toys for tots at Christmas, shoes for orphans, and cast-off clothes for the homeless. Claiming that these intrinsically generous activities open the door to share the Gospel, they then fail to present a Biblical Gospel. Some church members who volunteer for these activities simply hope that someone else will have the guts to speak spiritual truth. The few who do speak up consistently water down the message. Rather than preaching God’s law, sin, judgment, Hell, Heaven, repentance, the Cross, the Resurrection, the new birth, and a transformed life, they sweet-talk about a ‘relationship with Jesus’, how much God loves them no matter what they do, and how great the rock band is at their church. The lost sinner would be better off hearing nothing rather than hearing a false gospel.

By the way, if you really think that ‘social welfare’ activities are the best way to serve God, please answer a few questions for me. Why not sell your multi-million dollar facilities and give the money to the poor? Why put 100 people on your salaried church staff instead of letting them ‘make tents’ (like the apostle Paul), and giving to the poor? If serving God is about giving away money, then is it true that only the very rich can serve God significantly? If a Christian is poor, can’t he get a reward, too? Furthermore, if you could actually give enough to bring the poorest 1% up to middle class living standards, are you done? Mission accomplished? When you look around your local middle class neighborhoods, are you confident that God is happy because all of those people are comfortable? How come all of the evangelical ‘outreach’ programs are aimed at the lowest 1%? Don’t you care about the souls of the top 99%?

One local megachurch actually volunteers manpower to regularly clean up local school grounds, saving them money to invest in more evolutionism and sex education. If that’s “outreach,” namely “evangelism,” then it’s not for God’s team. In talking with a senior pastor in this church, he made it clear that he despises the idea of “confrontational evangelism” – you know, that means actually walking up to someone, giving them a tract, and sharing the Gospel with them. No, it’s all about relationship building. Make friends. Bring your friends to church. Let them rock with the worship team. See how much fun Christians have? Don’t you want God to bless you, work changes in your life, enhance your marital sex life, raise sweet kids? Ok, so let’s baptize you and get you involved in our next clothing drive.

The most conservative fundie churches do get a fraction of their people out into what is better termed “121 evangelism.” But most of them preach a Gospel that avoids the testy issue of repentance, even if they believe – theologically – that repentance from the specific sins in your life is essential to salvation. And so they preach a false Gospel, offering salvation to those who merely affirm some general facts about the Gospel and dutifully recite a so-called “sinner’s prayer” – an unbiblical concept attached to an unbiblical method. (See my many articles on Evangelism.)

And so I conclude that American churches are almost a total loss in evangelism, the Great Commission that the Lord Jesus delivered to His apostles on five separate occasions during the forty days between His resurrection and ascension.

What about discipleship? I’ve also written much on this. The primary church experience of American Christians is to sit passively and watch a show each week. Whether evangelical or fundamental Baptist, the show’s centerpiece is a sermon, which is intended to serve as the principal means of training and discipleship for the believers. Wow. That’s not how we train engineers in Sector 4. Engineering students actually have exams, build projects, present papers, make things work, break things and learn from the experience. By the time they graduate, despite the university’s misplaced priorities, engineers can design computers or build bridges. But Christians . . . charged with a mission that goes beyond merely life and death . . . let’s just lecture at them week after week, year after year, decade after decade . . . and congratulate ourselves (the ‘clergy’) on how great our pulpit-centered discipleship program is.

In Sectors 1, 2, and 3 we see competent organizations making good use of the creativity of the ‘troops’, involving them in many decisions and rewarding ideas that help the team accomplish its mission. To a lesser degree, we observe this even in Sectors 4 and 5. But Sector 6 is dominated by a culture that tells its members, “Show up. Shut up. Write checks.” The paid clergy prescribe the program and typically aren’t interested in ideas from the laity. Please don’t plead an oddball exception here or there. Do an honest analysis yourself. Consider the wealth of talents and God-given gifts within any sizable congregation and how LITTLE such talents are engaged.

In addition to being Biblically illiterate (no accountability in the pulpit-pew system), and as cold as ice in evangelistic zeal, American Christians defy the Lord’s commands by not loving one another. Hey, how can you love other believers when your primary interaction with them is mere geographical proximity in a darkened auditorium, watching the show? How can you pray for your brother when you don’t know anything about him? And how can you exhort or encourage him when only the paid seminary-trained clergy do all the talking? (I won’t get into the dysfunctionality of typical ‘small groups’ or ‘life groups’ here. I’ve commented elsewhere.)

What are the consequences of the organizational dysfunctionality of American churches? Multitudes go to Hell, never hearing a Biblical Gospel. Few Christians grow spiritually and, if they do at all, it is despite the design of the church. Many new Christians are “slurped up” into these anti-New Testament churches, without even realizing there is a better way, a way designed by the Lord Jesus Himself. Multitudes of false converts fill the churches and are henceforth inoculated against the Gospel – “Hey, I’m already a Christian. Jesus is my buddy!” Children of Christian parents grow up without the knowledge and wisdom to refute the Devil’s ridiculous lies regarding evolution and consequence-free immorality, and so are slurped up as soon as they leave the nest . . . often by a weaselly college professor who is eager to destroy the shallow faith of new students.

In short, American fundie and gelly churches work grossly contrary to their mission and THE JOB DOES NOT GET DONE. In each of the other sectors, the mission does get accomplished to at least some degree. Not in Sector 6.

Brannon Howse (worldviewweekend.com), recently conducted his 3-day ‘Contend 2014’ conference for high school and college students. A variety of speakers were brought in for the 300 young people in attendance, focusing on basic Christian worldview topics, including the reliability of Scripture, same-sex marriage, abortion, feminism, mysticism, creation vs. evolution, and God’s purpose for a Christian’s life. Several youth pastors admitted to Brannon that they were skeptical about the conference, because teens won’t be interested without a high energy Christian rock concert, and would only tolerate short, light-content, humorous speakers. However, according to reports, the teens were locked onto the presentations, even hanging around afterwards to pepper the speakers with serious questions. One professed his gratitude that he was treated like an adult, and the presentations were not dumbed down. Many professed that they had never heard such solid, Biblical explanations about important topics.

Here is my takeaway . . . This audience would have consisted primarily of teens from conservative gelly churches. From the many testimonies, it is clear that their home churches do not train their young people on even the essential basics of what to believe, why to believe it, and how to live the Christian life in America today. Why aren’t the churches providing content and stimulating questions and discussion? Where is the training so that these young adults can even hope to evangelize their peers in our mystical, post-modern society?

But wait . . . recall the title of this blog: “The most brilliantly professional organization ever built.” So what is it?

A true New Testament local church is the champ by far. No contest. A true NT church would be alone in Sector 1, bouncing every other sector down a level. Throughout history, from the book of Acts, down through the Middle Ages and every other era of the last 2,000 years, there have been – and are today – brilliantly designed and operating New Testament churches.

What were the characteristics intended, when the Lord Jesus declared, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Here is a short list of what the Lord designed into the local church, and what has been practiced through the ages, often under severe persecution . . . and even today in countries like China, Vietnam, Sudan, Iran, and Russia:

a. Believers meet in small enough groups, typically within houses, to enable them to get to know each other, pray for one another, love one another, and encourage one another.
b. House churches in a city-wide area (like Antioch, Ephesus, Smyrna, etc.) were networked together, in fellowship, with unpaid elders distributed throughout the network to share leadership.
c. This local area network provides a strong support structure, especially under persecution. In fact, NT churches often grow under severe persecution! Also, you don’t have separate, competing churches on opposite street corners. Distributed leadership inhibits corruption, requiring consensus on difficult decisions, facilitated by Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit, therefore actually allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Head of the local church. In Sector 6, a single super-pastor prevents Christ’s headship, resulting in a man-focused, personality-driven ministry . . . Nicolaitinism.
d. As the eleven disciples were ordained to go and bring forth fruit in John 15:16, every believer in succeeding generations is ordained to preach the Gospel. Church meetings stimulate discussion about everyone’s weekly efforts to reach out with the Gospel.

e. New converts are brought into the church, instantly becoming brothers and sisters in an extended family. Mutual love and loyalty grow rapidly. Thus “morale” is superb, teamwork is exceptional, and “members” are not transient at all! Who leaves a loving family?
f. Weekly Bible study is interactive. Members bring content and hold each other accountable by joint study and discussion. Training is lifelong and never grows wearisome. The most talented in certain areas (creation science vs. evolutionism, child-rearing, personal finance, medical / health, etc.) share expertise and everyone grows. Under crisis, ‘family members’ are willing to lay down their lives for each other. Unlike Sector 1, team membership is for life, not just for a tour of duty. Members are always growing, always learning, and new leaders for an expanding network are developed continually.
g. Personal development is optimized. Character is built, marriages grow stronger, and children are raised to Biblical maturity.
h. Economic efficiency is exceptional. Money is not invested in facilities and salaries, as in Sector 6, but directly into evangelism (tracts, road trips, dinner invitations) and discipleship (Bibles, books, church-generated study guides, practical (not fluffy) educational materials). Additionally, money, personal help, and resources are available for members who are in trouble (lost job, bad health, persecution – dad is jailed for his faith and mom and the kids need support).

If the above sketch sounds idealized, you need to read more of church history and accounts of what believers are doing in other parts of the world. The Lord Jesus designed His church – brilliantly – and it works everywhere it is tried. And when it is tried, simply by following the pattern of the New Testament, you’ll see the most vibrant, professional, efficient, high-morale, thriving organization in the history of the world.

Exceptional churches have no need for 21st century technology, including multi-media sensurround theaters. They don’t need a superstar preacher / entertainer, who may be fun to listen to, but has no clue about how to actually train new believers toward holiness, sanctification, evangelistic zeal, love for the brethren, and opportunities for leadership. In American churches, only the clergy get to do the ‘serious’ part of their ministry. If you are merely laity, you might get to be an usher, or lead an ultra-light-content therapy group, or box up the lunches for the Christmas homeless event. But teaching, counseling, evangelism, and training? Only the clergy qualify . . . and then fail to do it right themselves.

Bottom line: What kind of organizations are you in? If you make a living within Sectors 3, 4, or 5, you won’t likely have the power to lift your entire organization to excellence. Yet you can excel . . . “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) Make each day count. Be a blessing to your boss, your co-workers, and your customers.

If you’re in Sectors 1 or 2, you already understand the need for exceptional performance. Or you won’t be there long. But by the grace of God, you can still grow and learn to give God the glory for it, all the while looking for opportunities to reach out to those around you.

If you’re in Sector 6 . . . GET OUT!! You’re wasting the gifts that God has given to you. Don’t throw your life away, supporting some other rebel’s idea of what a church should be like. If you’re a married man, start a church in your living room with your wife. Got kids? Now they’ve got a chance to know the Lord, too. Know any Christians who might be in sync? Grab them and grow together. Start reaching out weekly with tracts and 121 evangelism. Even in America it’s possible to make a new convert occasionally.

All alone? Work hard in personal evangelism and trust God to give you someone: either a new convert or a Christian you meet while about your Great Commission business. God won’t let you down. He knows you need some fellowship.

Finally, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the several articles I’ve posted on various ‘church’ issues in the Discipleship section of this site. And drop me a line. We can encourage each other.

– drdave@truthreallymatters.com

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