Friday, March 5, 2010

Do numbers and popularity mean the BLESSING of God??

It seems odd to pose such a question, because so many Christians say that 'just because a ministry is small doesn't mean God is not blessing them' and they also say 'just because a church is big doesn't mean God is blessing them', yet that's such a difficult statement to believe, when in 'practice' many believers respond quite differently.
How could such a belief exist among those who only read, listen and reference mega-ministries/ministers???
How could such a belief exist among leaders (in conferences and seminaries) who only invite men who have 'achieved' some sort of status through bestselling books, large ministries, and/or a 'one of the fastest/largest ......churches' status???

As A.W. Tozer rightly spoke:
In Christian circles today, the church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches. Numbers, size and amounts seem to be very nearly all that matter-with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality! This is the age of the Laodiceans. The great goddess, Numbers, is worshiped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in most Christian endeavors. A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another than scriptural judgment. Yet this is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone seems to notice the deep and dangerous error!

The sad reality is that such a mindset is NOT limited to the mainstream churches, but is quite common among Reformed/Reforming churches. Such superstars then reach a place where anything questionable in their ministries or lives is 'overruled' by the 'OBVIOUS fruit' that they are producing (NUMBERS).

What's the danger?? (a short list)

  • Divisive hero worship as seen in the Church at Corinth.
  • Faithful ministers and churches who by the pleasure of God have not grown large and are looked down upon and who may indeed struggle with their faithfulness (though they are more faithful).
  • Smaller churches being burdened because they can't possibly do nor afford the things they are being told is 'necessary'.

1 comments:

Celeste

Hi! I happened upon your blog while wandering around the net today, and I just wanted to thank you for ministry, and for this message in particular. I think that my pastor is beginning to become concerned about the numbers issue in our small (but faithful) church. I know from speaking to a few one-time visitors that many people are seeking the razzle dazzle of the world within a church setting. If that's the case, then I am glad that they did not find what they were looking for in our church. Just because we're small doesn't mean we're doing something wrong! So I'm off to encourage my pastor.
God bless you and your ministry, Julius!

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