I personally think that we are the edge of something really big in the church world.
For the past 70 to 80 years we've done our dead level best to make Christianity look polished and slick. When you ask the average church-goer how life is the standard response is 'NO problems here, we're good.' We have preachers who 'look' like they have everything figured out, their families are perfect, no struggles or problems, so, therefore, it's tough to approach leaders and talk about our everyday problems. So, instead of following the mandate of James 5:16, we build a wall of isolation in the attempts to be perceived as having it all figured out.
This is why we are seeing 50% of Christian marriage falling apart because we don't have real community. We don't have a safe place to sit down and talk through our struggles and problems. We don't have a place to get real answers. Let's be honest. When someone says 'How are you doing?' If someone actually starts to unpack the messy and the dysfunctional we get a little freaked out and we want our cell phone to ring so we can avoid the actual conversation. Because we don't actually want to get involved, we just want to have the perception of being involved.
My friends there would be so much freedom if we as Christians just followed this one verse.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
So I need you to see what just got unpacked there. James did not say confess and gossip to one another. He said confess and PRAY FOR one another! If Christians would just take the time to actually care about one another we just might see a body of people that could shake the planet for the mission of the Gospel. If we had a group of people that all understood we were all flawed, but in Christ, we were by no means failures it just might generate a revival in the church.
What we need are people in the church who want to see others succeed in Christ. We don't need to pile drive one another into the pavement. We need to encourage each other to find Christ as our perfect Savior who has already rescued and redeemed us from the horridness of sin and self and simply rest in His finished work that he did on the cross on our behalf.
I think we are so close to seeing this in the American church world. And I think that's going to happen because of persecution. If you look at the church in Middle Eastern and European countries this is what's happening and as a result, the church is growing. We are seeing authentic communities of gospel-centered faith that are activated for the cause and mission of Jesus Christ. These people are not star struck by some preacher, they are not building a castle they are focused on seeing the Kingdom of God built.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
When people suffer for the cause of the Gospel their mindset changes, it's no longer how they can advance their agenda, get ahead, or tear one another down. Rather they look for ways to advance the Kingdom, win souls for Christ, and sacrifice for each other. I think that if a bulk of people in the American church would adopt this mindset we would see a complete transformation and a spirit-filled revival.