This Easter hundreds of thousands of churches across the land will put on their best face. But trends indicate fewer will hear the Resurrection story this year than last year.

Leadership Network’s Reggie McNeal says in the new documentary film When God Left the Building, “You can’t say that this is a lack of beautiful architecture, or fantastic programming, or we finally got the right coffee in the church. We’ve got all these retrofitted, up-fitted, outfitted churches with executive chefs. We’ve got it going when it comes to church!”

So why isn’t the church advancing in the American culture? McNeal says, “The big issue for the church is not how to do church better. That is the wrong question because we’ve been doing church better and better and better with the result of an increasing disaffection. The real question for the American church is how to be church better. How do you be church where people already are? How do you take church to people instead of just expecting people to come to church?”

That got me thinking. How different is the religious landscape from the landscape 2,000 years ago? The religious establishment then too had nearly perfected the religious machine. They were doing “church better and better and better.” But they needed the Redeemer to remind them to be the church better, to take the church to people.

May this Resurrection Day remind us anew of the true meaning and mission of the church.