What is the greatest challenge in the church today?

I think the greatest challenge in the church today is probably no different from any day, and that is that if we really believe in God and His sovereignty we’ll learn to pray together. One of the things that has always burdened me is that in the life of the church it’s the prayerlessness of the church that stands out most of all.

Also, I think another challenge in the church is this: that life is becoming tremendously dysfunctional, especially in the Western world. Families are becoming tremendously dysfunctional. We can moan and groan and lament that, but one of the things I think that this impresses upon us is that the church is God’s family.

I don’t think it’s always been true in the history of the church that Christians have realized we are family here. And one of the things I notice, certainly in our own land, is that the more the church is the family of the heavenly Father—and those relationships of normality and affection, and safety for the children, and youngsters with older people and vice versa are manifested in the church—no matter how much people may hate the particularities of what we believe, when they encounter that they don’t see that anywhere else. That’s a supernatural reality, and I think it’s one of the things that in the future in churches will actually be the stepping stone to many people and many families becoming Christians.

I believe, for example, that for young families in our church the days are coming now when their peer groups as parents will be turning to them and saying to them, “How do you do that? Because we really don’t know what we’re doing or why we’re doing it. We’re all at sea. We don’t know who to trust. We don’t know how to bring up our children. But you actually seem quite normal.”

So in the midst of a difficult time, I think there are tremendous opportunities for us to serve Christ.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Sinclair Ferguson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.