Now this is a question that every pastor, and every Christian for that matter, must wrestle with at some time or another; “What is the goal of the church?” Of course, we know that Jesus makes the answer to this question very clear in Matthew 28:19-20. The goal of the church is to accomplish the Great Commission; to make disciples of all nations for the glory of God.
Most do not argue about the goal of the church, instead they argue about how to accomplish that goal. For what it’s worth, here’s what I’ve learned in my brief tenure as a pastor.
1. Big events and great entertainment draw a crowd, but they do not build a church.
2. Big events and great entertainment do not make disciples, they make a very dangerous class of “Christian” consumers.
3. Big events and great entertainment set you up for failure in the future. If you’re built on the next big thing, the next thing has to be bigger than the last thing.
4. Big events and great entertainment will wear out your pastors and leaders and leave your people frustrated and disillusioned.
5. Big events and great entertainment leave your people looking for the next big thing. When in fact, the next big thing should be next Sunday.
To my pastor friends, I want to encourage you to resist steadfastly the temptation to entertain the masses. As you look at the ministry of Christ, you’ll notice that He never sought a crowd just for the sake of boasting about His numbers. In fact, you read often of Him retreating from the crowd and other times of the crowd retreating from Him at His harsh words.
The bottom line is this: what you win them with is what you’ll keep them with. Don’t get caught in the trap of entertaining Christians or scheduling events to get the huge crowd to show up. In the end, the church is tasked with the responsibility of making disciples of all nations. Instead of creating “Christian” consumers, we should be making disciples that are disciple-makers.
I began a series this morning on the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. This Minor Prophet book (because of its length, not its message) is absolutely incredible. I think this could be one of the most meaningful series I’ve done at Crosspointe. Why? Because trouble is the common denominator in the Christian experience. Everyone will face times of difficulty and crisis at one point or another. The question is not, “Will the crisis come?” But, “How do I respond when the crisis comes?”
God did a great work at Crosspointe today and this series has just begun. I think we’d be amazed if we really knew how many people were facing a crisis at any given moment in our church. The good news is, God is not unaware, unconcerned or uninterested; and He is capable to deal with the situation better than we ever could on our own!
This is truly a historic time for our nation. We have just elected the 44th president of the United States who will be inaugurated in January. The truth still remains however, we are a nation divided over some very contentious issues. And the question on my mind is really simple, now what?
Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” Ultimately, the problems within our country are not economic, financial, national or international…they are spiritual. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Not only are we a nation full of sin, but we are a nation that has become proud of sin.
Look at history as recorded in Scripture as well as the nations that have risen and fallen before us; anytime you remove God from the picture, you spell doom and defeat for your country. So, now what? What is our task as believers today in America? What has God called us to do? I believe we have been called for such a time as this. And I believe the church is at a critical juncture and crossroads. Will we rise to the occasion and reach our nation for Christ, or will we abdicate our responsibility and fade into the shadows? It’s up to us.
I LOVE the fall. The temperature drops, the leaves begin to change and my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) is rapidly approaching. Unlike my wife, I like the colder weather and enjoy the winter months, so I don’t mind that fall signals the coming winter.
Fall means more ministry for the church as well. As we settle down from summer and get into the groove of school, it’s time to be faithful to church and do three major things: CONNECT, GROW and SERVE. Connect with God in worship, grow in discipleship through our small groups and serve God by reaching out to others and serving in ministry.
Use this natural change in the seasons to plug in, connect and commit to serve God at your local church. I love the fall; it’s a great time to make the decision to get serious about serving God.
We had a staff get-together at my place the other night and it was a blast! We had a Mexican theme night and everyone brought their own food to share. There was a TON of food. Seriously, I think we could have fed the entire church with all of the food everyone brought.
After supper, we broke out the Wii. I’m extremely tempted to post some pictures and may do so at a later time…possibly even a video. Let’s just say that Melba Dease was awesome playing Wii boxing. That image is forever etched in my brain. What a fun time!