I pastor a church in Washington DC that is nearly 70 percent single twenty-somethings. Unfortunately, our demographics are an anomaly. By and large, twenty-somethings are leaving the church at an alarming rate. According to some statistics, 61 percent of twenty-somethings who grew up going to church will quit going to church in their twenties. And the temptation is to ask this question: what’s wrong with this generation? But that is the wrong question. The right question is this: What’s wrong with the church?
My answer is simply this: we’re not great at the Great Commandment [Luke
10:27]. In too many instances, we’re not
even good at it.
That, I believe, is our primal
problem. That is the lost soul of
Christianity. If Jesus said that loving
God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment,
then doesn’t it logically follow that we ought to spend an inordinate amount of
our time and energy trying to understand it and obey it? We can’t afford to be merely good at the
Great Commandment. We’ve got to be great
at the Great Commandment.
The quest for the lost soul of
Christianity begins with rediscovering what it means to love God with all our
heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus
used those four kaleidoscopic words to describe four dimensions of love. And there is certainly overlap among
them. It’s hard to know where loving God
with your heart ends and loving God with your soul begins. But one thing is sure: loving God in one way
isn’t enough. It’s not enough to love
God with just your heart or soul or
mind or strength. We are called, even
commanded, to love Him in all four ways.
Think of it as love to the fourth power.
-- Mark Batterson in PRIMAL: A Quest for the Lost Soul of