Is the modern Church on a “burning platform”? (Monday Metaphors)

The “burning platform” metaphor comes from the Piper Alpha oil-drilling disaster in the North Sea, the worst disaster in the history of North Sea oil exploration, where 166 crew and 2 rescuers lost their lives. Superintendent Andy Mochan survived the disaster by leaping from the burning platform into the oil-fired frozen ocean. He knew he had 20 minutes at the most to survive in the sea but when he looked at his options he said, “It was fry or jump, so I jumped.”

Is the modern Church, the Bride of Christ, on a burning platform?

Are we depending on methods that may have been effective in the past but are now proving to be a hindrance of the gospel?

Take a look at the facts, the simple facts of population and numbers of Christians and then let’s talk.

Watch this video with a group of friends:

Explore these questions together:

  1. What numbers stood out to you the most?  Why?
  2. Which of these two statements moves you the most?
    • There are more “followers of Christ” today than ever in the history of humankind.
    • There are more people Hellhound today than ever before?
  3. Which of the two statements above is true?  Explain your answer.
  4. Have someone read aloud a quote from Roland Allen, a missiologist says in The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and Its Hindrances:
  5. It is, I suppose, now almost universally admitted that we cannot hope, by multiplication of missionaries, to reach the vast populations of China, India and Africa, not to mention the rest of the world, nor to cover the whole of these great areas with mission stations, still less to provide mission schools and hospitals sufficient to supply their needs. The demands made upon us by our present missions for money and support tend rather to increase than to diminish from year to year. . . . Surely there must be an end to this process some time. If we are to admit that the more successful the work of establishing a church the greater is the obligation of the home church to sustain its various needs, it is not difficult to foresee disaster(p.22)

  6. What disaster is Allen talking about?
  7. Are we in that disaster right now in light of seeing more of the world’s population on its way to hell than every before in the history of humankind?
  8. Is it time to jump, in other words should we be aggressively pursing other strategies to move the gospel that aren’t dependent on cross cultural missionaries and all the financial intensity that comes with them?
  9. You might want to refer to Spent Matches pgs 8-10 for more info.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comments.

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Comments

  1. Interesting. The things that were happening around the world also effected the change from century to century. When the printing press was invented it appears things really started moving. Then various global wars and world events caused Christianity to spread more. With more modern communications, ie. radio, television, internet, smart phones it spread more to the point where people “said” they were Christians. But with the modern technology sin became easier and more common. Morals went down hill. As Franklin Graham said recently, paraphrased “if God doesn’t punish the US He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.”

    I think your discussion which includes obedience is something “new” so some “believers” and it needs to be said. Your DMM is what the we need to really get people involved instead of entertained with the habit of going to church. You are talking about us all “being the Church”, which is what it appears that Christ asked us to do.

    I love it and am looking forward to your second ” how to session” in the Kansas City area.

    Kerry Fulton
    Guided by GPS “God’s perfect Son”
    Open Range Fellowship member

  2. Thanks Roy for some interesting questions. The aftermath of a failed system, exported all over the world, is so evident in Africa as I rode today with a leader who was sharing about the obsession of youth in the church with wealth and prosperity, and not for souls. At a men’s group a few weeks ago a Bible School staffer indicated that they have no registrations for the next year. 2 decades ago they had 80 students, with around 30 first years. I think the system has already crashed, it just takes some longer to come to grips with this reality. The exciting part is that God is at work, this is a clear Kairos moment – and if you are listening to Christ, He is building His Church. And all we need to do is disciple people into being sons of God in His House.

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