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Devotionals    H3'ed 10/8/16

The Purpose Driven Plot Against Small Churches

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6. Too many meetings. I led a church with a grand total of 50 people in attendance. We had 16 elders. Overall, the church was in evening meetings 2-3 times a week. Why on earth would a church that small need to meet that often? I eventually repurposed most of those meetings to become meetings about vision and reorganization. We also cut the number of elders down. Now, although we have a much bigger church, I'm only out one or two nights a week (and then mostly for small group). If you're going to meet, meet on purpose for the future. Free up your time so you and your team can accomplish something significant.

Once again this silly focus on earthly visions. While I agree that 16 elders sounds excessive I am sure this is an outlier example and not the norm. I attended a local church that protected information at all costs. As such, meetings become hostile. The fault was not the sheep however. The church does not belong to the pastor. It first belongs to God and secondly to the sheep. Combined we are the body of Christ. I love how he brags that as a pastor he only has to go out twice a week. As if this is the desirable goal. To be as far removed from your sheep as possible.

7. Too many events and programs that lead nowhere. Activity does not equal accomplishment. Just because you're busy doesn't mean you're being effective. If you check into most small churches (remember, I was there"I'm not judging, just being honest), there are a lot of programs that accomplish little and lead nowhere. Stop them. Yes people will be mad. Even have the courage to cut some good programs. Good is the enemy of great. Then go out and do a few great things. -- Carey Nieuwhof

Wow, what sheer arrogance. Not judging small churches but saying their programs accomplish nothing? Based upon what metrics Carey? This is a huge point so please do not miss it. The job of a pastor is to grow the church vertically; towards God. It is to mature the sheep. It is to feed the sheep. So that we all might grow in unity of doctrine. It is God's job to add to the number of sheep as He sees fit. Read Acts Chapter Two. What the Complex does is it essentially tries to loft the pastor into the job that belongs to God. It is the same sin that Lucifer committed by trying to ascend to the throne of the Most High. It is the same sin he convinced Eve to commit in the garden. To be like God. It is essentially the same sin offered by most false teachings in one way or the other.

But small churches have a far greater chance of dealing with spiritual maturity than larger churches. They do not have worry about pleasing everyone. Churches that simply preach the uncompromised Gospel and leave the horizontal growth up to God are actually more likely to have successes than churches that do not bother shepherding the sheep. The problem is that they measure the wrong thing. To the mega church mind if you gain two new goats in exchange for one sheep leaving that is a net gain but to God it is a net loss. The Parable of the 99 and 1 alone should teach us that. The average time someone spends in a mega church is less than 3 years. Many never return to church. The Purpose Driven Church teaches pastors that this is OK and they call it "blessed subtraction." So someone leaving the church to never return, wounded, bloodied, and damaged is a "win" in the purpose driven mind so long as you find another warm body to replace them for the next three years. How pathetically sad. There is certainly nothing "great" about it. Lastly:

8. The pastor suffers from a desire to please everybody. Many pastors I know are people-pleasers by nature. Go see a counselor. Get on your knees. Do whatever you need to do to get over the fear of disappointing people. Courageous leadership is like courageous parenting. Don't do what your kids want you to do; do what you believe is best for them in the end. Eventually, many of them will thank you. And the rest? Honestly, they'll probably go to another church that isn't reaching many people either. -- Carey Nieuwhof

In the wicked purpose driven heart of Carey Nieuwhof, the pastoral desire to please everyone is something that must be eliminated, even through prayer! What would that prayer even sound like? "Father, please make me more callously indifferent towards the very people you asked me to tend to, in Jesus name, amen?" Continuing to assume the God role, Carey now equates the sheep to children. And what parent does not delegate the provision of basic needs for their children to other people? Often unqualified people? Yet he considers if you do to be courageous? Seriously? Then look at the arrogant blessed subtraction mindset. If they do not like the carnal way you run your church; don't worry. They will just mosey on to another church. You know, one that does not take thing as serious as you do. Maybe one of those smaller churches that don't want to grow to the point that they can have their own brand of coffee. Beloved, do not dismiss this insight as trivial. There is a concerted movement to corporatize the body of Christ. To pass off pastoral responsibilities to people uncalled and unqualified to handle such. It will be dressed up in Jesus-ese. The Pharisees also used to use the "reach as many as possible" excuse and Jesus told them they travel the world to make a single convert only to make that person twice the son of hell that they are. We may look at the Joel Osteens and Brian Houstons of the world and rightly discern they are false but it is the Carey Nieuwhofs who are the cogs in the machine. Who offer young pastors this canal vision of book deals and waterfalls. All in the name of Jesus; wink wink nod nod. Do not begrudge the small church where their many programs might be resulting in spiritual maturity in favor of the mega church model based upon worldly measurements of success. If a pastor of 200 sees 180 enter the kingdom of heaven, he is going to hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant." The mega church pastor of 50,000 who sees 45,000 stand before Christ wailing "Lord Lord" will hear "Away from me for I never knew you." The s ize of the church is not the issue. The faithfulness to the Gospel always is.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- October 7, 2016

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)

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