Spiritual readiness is simply being prepared for the challenges we and our churches can expect to encounter as followers of Christ. Anti-Christian hostility is growing in North America — up 15 percent in just one year, by one measure. Our faith is routinely ridiculed, denounced as “hate,” dismissed as “foolish” and “anti-science,” and attacked as “privileged.”
Few of us in the church are ready for what’s ahead of us. We’ve got work to do: first, to be the kind of people God wants us to be; second, to show that the charges are false, and Christ’s ways are good and true; and through it all, to remain faithful no matter what’s brought against us.
The Spiritual Readiness Project exists to help prepare Christians for those challenges. We do it by promoting (a) strong teaching of comprehensive biblical truth, and (b) reasons for confidence that it is both true and good.
Every Christian in every age has faced challenges that are common to all of us: health, problems, family heartaches, financial straits, and conflict near and far. We’re not here to cover those familiar challenges. The church is experienced in them already. We’re focusing on the new, rapidly-rising, and unfamiliar challenge of anti-Christian hostility in our culture.
Have you ever heard of being prepared to be surprised? It doesn’t sound real, but it’s a good description of American Christianity. 1 Peter 4:12 tells us not to be surprised at the fiery trial coming upon us, as if something strange were happening to us. But we’ve had decades of experience preparing us not to expect trials. We’ve been prepared to be surprised by it when it comes — and it has.
That’s why we must focus now on preparing for the real thing: following Christ no matter what. What kind of preparation do we need? Consider a list like this one:
They’re all important. None matters more than any other. But the last two, knowing what we believe and why, need special attention, because we’re lagging far behind on them. We’ve got to catch up on them, or we won’t be ready.
Here at the Spiritual Readiness we honor all the church has done in its teaching and work on life in Christ, community, and outreach. We’re not looking to add anything there. We’re focused instead on gearing up for what American Christians have never geared up for before.
God has very good things in store for us, even in these darkening times — if we’re ready to receive it.