MC Cohorts: Addressing the Culture Crisis

Through its new Online Church Cohort Program, Messenger College desires to help you and your local church increase your impact and reach missional goals.

Dr. Candace Scalf

March 26, 2024


Growing the Church

An Introduction to the Crisis:

The U.S. culture is in trouble. Its marked decline is related to the lack of influence of a Christian worldview. According to Arizona Christian University and Barna, since 2020 there has been a 33% drop in a biblical worldview in adults in the United States, and only 4% of U.S. adults now have a Christian worldview.

For pastors, the worldview problem is even more alarming. Barna and Arizona Christian University conducted a study of pastors in May of 2022 and found that over 60% of pastors do not have a biblical worldview. This statistic suggests that over half of pastors do not make daily decisions based on the Bible.

This is a crisis. And we cannot ignore it.

These statistics suggest that we are not developing individuals, and more importantly leaders, with a Christian worldview. To understand why this is so devastating, we must understand what a Christian worldview is and how a worldview operates.

The Christian Worldview:

The best analogy for a worldview is glasses (or contacts). Just as glasses filter information coming in through your eyes, a worldview filters information coming in from all around you. A worldview is how you see the world, and everything you experience in this world flows through your worldview filter. And any encounter can scratch your glasses.

The truth is that everyone has a worldview. You cannot function without one, and each person’s worldview is unique. It is formed by each individual’s experiences - both personally, politically, nationally, generationally, etc. - and it impacts our daily decision-making, attitudes, and behaviors. For example, think about a significant event in your life. How has it impacted you? How has it impacted your decision-making?  How has it impacted your faith?

Sadly, many of the issues we have in our culture right now are tied to a declining Christian worldview. As our culture moves away from the Christian worldview, it is replacing it with various other secular worldviews that assert contrary ideas - such as morality is relative and subjective - which causes disunity and division.

We know that there is pressure on Christians to not speak up and share the gospel message and God’s truth because of the fear of potential harassment by friends or other members of society. Today’s culture is emotionally brutal; this is evidenced by a lack of the love of God. We have to speak up, regardless of whether we think our views will be rejected. We have to choose to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to speak the truth in knowledge and in love.

Just by watching the news, it is evident that our country is becoming post-Christian. We never thought we would see this in our lifetimes, and we cannot let the culture continue to decline. We must educate Christians on what a worldview is and the different types of worldviews impacting our culture so that we can return the Christian worldview to its central role. If we do not actively start the process of educating ourselves, the hatred, misunderstanding, and lack of love will continue to grow.

Since 2022, the Pentecostal Church of God has been working toward the achievement of four specific goals in a "Decade of Harvest." Two of these goals involve...

  • To develop and train an additional 1,000 next generation leaders (thus bringing the overall total of PCG leaders worldwide to 10,000+).
  • To reach a million new believers around the world.

These goals are laudable, reachable, and worthy of our unwavering attention. However, as Barna’s research demonstrates, attaining these goals will be affected by the worldview battle that is occurring in the United States and around the world. Even pastors are not immune from the worldview dilemma in which we find ourselves. If the PCG is going to reach our goals, we must, as a family, respond and effectively deal with the worldview crisis.

But how do you respond to something you know nothing or little about? Just as a non-plumber would fix a sink, you must educate yourself on the proper way to “fix the problem.”

MC's Response: The Online Church Cohort Program

The notion of the Christian worldview has been around for over 2,000 years, and Messenger College has been teaching students how to develop and apply the Christian worldview to their lives and the culture for nearly four decades. Thankfully, there seems to be a renewed interest in worldview studies in the church today. We believe this is the global church waking up to the crisis, and we want the PCG to be a leader in this awakening!

Messenger College is here to help you and your church join in the worldview culture battle through its MC Online Church Cohort Program. The cohort program allows you to bring worldview training to the local church with the benefit of a Christian higher education experience. Through MC’s training, the local church can educate its members and develop deeper roots in each person’s relationsh1ip with Jesus.

This greater understanding and deeper relationship in turn allows everyone to have a greater impact in their community, and thus, to impact the national culture. By truly analyzing their own worldview and realizing the impact of it on their daily decision-making, students can follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and speak in knowledge and truth.

The amazing part of this program is that it is extremely flexible and affordable, and it can be incorporated into the local church in a variety of ways. One, two, or any number of MC accredited courses can be taken for credit or just your own personal knowledge. You get to decide!

  • The best part is that cohort size and student age does not matter. All you need is one person willing to learn and share what he or she learned with others.

If you want to increase your impact, the local church can have the program flow through its small group ministry, young adult, or youth ministry. The church can also choose to have various leaders go through the program to develop a better understanding and then share the information with the congregation. It can be tailored to your church and community needs.

  • If you choose, the local church can set up the cohort program in a formal process that leads to an AA degree in Christian Ministry or even to a BA in Christian Ministry or Counseling. The local church has a great deal of flexibility to incorporate and use the program to fulfill its educational needs.

Earlier in this article, we shared that only 4% of adults in the U.S. today have a Christian worldview. As Christians, we need to realize that we do not have much time to address this problem. As an international church body, we need to start by equipping our current leaders in the body of Christ so that they are equipped with the knowledge they need to recognize secular worldview influences and address them in Holy Ghost power, in Jesus’ love, and with the truth of God’s Word.

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Dr. Candace Scalf, JD, PhD
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Messenger College

Professor Michael West, D. Min. Candidate
Chair of General & Online Education, Messenger College

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