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Devotionals    H3'ed 7/16/18

Purposefully Driving to Hell

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And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. -- Acts 2: 46-47 (ESV)

Christianity is big business. The Purpose Driven Industrial Complex has metastasized into a billion dollar global enterprise. With a wink and a nod everyone swears it is all for Jesus but a closer examination reveals it is pure carnality and greed. The complex applies basic business models of growth to what is supposed to be a spiritual endeavor. The pastor's role changes from shepherd to CEO. God designed the church so that the pastors would be responsible for the vertical growth of the sheep he has been entrusted with. It is God who is responsible for the growth horizontally. We see this very clearly in the summation of the first church in Acts 2; the key verses today. The people concentrated on fellowship, corporate togetherness, studying Scripture and the breaking of bread. It was the Lord that added to their number day by day, those being saved. We see the same principle reinforced by the Apostle Paul:

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. -- 1Corinthians 3: 5-7 (ESV)

God gives the growth to the church, not man. That growth is determined by the preaching of the Gospel, not the size of your kidz ministry or setting up your own coffee shops inside the church. This truth is despite what people like Tony Morgan think. Morgan is the founder of an organization called The Unstuck Group. He fancies himself a church growth expert who can help your church if it is "stuck"; meaning not growing in numbers. What he fails to realize is he removes God from all of his solutions and equations. God does not need our help with His plans. The instructions in the Great Commission or in the Pauline letters explaining church did not include hire the best carnal consultants to game the system. The idea is not to lure people into your church with the same pablum they can get from the world. Only the Gospel has the power unto God to save them. Not your worship leader's faux Mohawk or the best smoke machines available. Let us reason together once more beloved through the latest article from Morgan linked above.

The title, " Want to Reach New People? These 10 Habits Set Your Church Back." Reveals the underlying flaw in purpose driven theology. The church should not be in the business of reaching new people. What? You heard me. One of the greatest schemes of the devil is to convince those charged with running the church to not do it as the Bible outlines. The church is not meant to be a hospital for the wounded or any other silly analogy. It is meant for the protection and growth of the sheep. Do we want the unsaved to come in? Sure! Where else will they hear the Gospel that can change their lives? The purpose driven mantra is to never offend the lost and the reality is the Gospel is meant to offend. They are sinners like you and I and need a Savior. If that message turns them of? So be it. Watering it down however saves no one. We begin:

"What is the first-time guest experience really like at your church? When my team at The Unstuck Group helps a church assess ministry health, one key step we take is to attend and review the church's weekend experience through the lens of an outsider. That's because once you see what an outsider sees, you can't unsee it. Serving in 100+ churches each year, we've started to notice some patterns. What are the most common offenses? Here are the Top 10--the biggest issues with the weekend that we see the most often. Keep in mind, these are only issues for churches that actually want to reach new people" One last thing before I get to the list: Many of these issues show up in the "secret shopper" reports for large churches just as often as in small churches." -- Tony Morgan

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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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