Is it true that “more” and “bigger” is actually better? Well, our culture seems to endorse this idea, and I have noticed that anything that our culture believes will eventually make its way into the church.
I have attended countless pastor conferences, seminars and conventions over the years, and the chit chat with some of my peers often makes me really wonder. Sometimes I will run into someone and do you think we talk about spiritual blessings and challenges, about growing in our faith and the well being of our respective families? I have noticed that with a great many of my counterparts, three questions are asked:
1)How big is your church?
2)What are your offerings?
3)How many have you baptized?
Often added to the above questions, is a key name, a new flavor on the shelf, or a recently released cutting edge program that our church should be involved in, in order to grow. The Holy Spirit is seldom referred to or even mentioned as the One to seek in order to accomplish the will of God.
Recently, a large church boasted that hundreds came forth and were saved following a “Heaven’s Gates, Hells Flames” presentation. What the church should have said is that there were a lot of professions of faith. Only God has current access to the Book of Life, and a careful reading of the Parable of the Sower should greatly humble us——– for many of the ones who initially PROFESS the faith, do not actually POSSESS the faith!
When a person makes a profession of faith, and it is evidenced to be real through their changed life and the giving forth of fruit, this should give the church great joy. The Lord has given me the following wisdom through the years: “All the great things that you and others think you are doing will all be for naught. But do not worry……. for since you are a believer and trying to fulfill the Great Commission, I will bless your efforts anyway (even your mistakes). The things you will be awarded for will surprise you because you may not even remember them. But your great works, buster, are only a bunch of wood, hay and stubble. Oh, and by the way, ignore the “numbers game,” because those figures are so different from Mine that it would make your head spin.” Yep—-that is what the Lord keeps telling me. Blessings, Pastor Steve