I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. -- John 10: 11-13 (ESV)
The transformation of the church over the past few decades has set the stage of the end times events the Bible speaks of, including the embracing of the one world religion and the acceptance by the church of the mark of the beast. The Bible speaks in Matthew 7 of people standing before Christ on the last day and saying Lord Lord. These people were clearly churched but not saved. If that term is foreign to you, be aware that it is not to your pastor. The term "churched" entered into the pastoral lexicon with the introduction of the Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren. Not the Purpose Driven Life. The Purpose Driven Church was written for pastors in 1995 and is the blueprint for the unbiblical and destructive theories of church growth that have spread like a cancer throughout the body of Christ over the past 30 years. Terms such as "lost" and "unsaved" were considered negative stereotyping and replaced with less abrasive terms such as "unchurched." That may seem like a small thing but beloved it is not. It has radically changed the focus and goals of churches across this world. Instead of being concerned about the person's salvation, pastors today are concerned about whether they attend church. The problem is standing in a church doesn't make you any more saved than standing in a garage makes you a car.
As the purpose driven movement took root and began to fester, we saw an entire support industry arise around it. National conferences on leadership and faux revival became big business. Almost as big as the churches themselves. Lakewood Church for example takes in over $600,000 per weekend in tithes and offerings. Kenneth Copeland has a net worth of over 600 million dollars and lives in a seven million dollar mansion that he writes off as a "parsonage." Besides conferences on leadership, we have seen the rise of Christian Leadership gurus who have entire businesses geared to raise up, grow and equip a generation of hirelings. The key verse reminds us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd whereas the hireling cares nothing about true doctrine because he ultimately does not care about the sheep. One such leadership guru, which I have featured before, is Carey Nieuwhof. His most recent article entitled, "When To Panic and When NOT to Panic When People Leave Your Church", can be found at the link above. As we once again reason together in review, keep in mind that this is written to pastors with the intent of teaching them. This is the absolute garbage your pastor is inundated with every day.
"Most leaders I know fear losing people. I do. And I'll bet you do. After all, you spend a lot of your time trying to build your ministry. When it comes to the mission of the church, it seems almost unthinkable to reach fewer people. Eternity really does hang in the balance. In any organization, none of us really want to reach fewer people or have less impact." -- Carey Nieuwhof
This is always the premise beloved. This is the escape rationale that purpose driven leaders fall back on whenever criticized. It's all for Jesus! Never mind the book deal I signed, my new car, or that parsonage! It's all about growing the kingdom! Wink wink. There are some inherent flaws in this thinking starting with the fact that it is not the job of the pastor to build his ministry. That is the responsibility of God. I am not kidding. Read the Book of Acts. The pastor teaches, preaches and tends to the sheep the Lord has entrusted to him and God adds to the number as He sees fit. A large part of the problem is that like the Pharisees of old, the purpose driven pastor is more concerned about reaching people than what he is reaching them with:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. -- Matthew 23: 15 (ESV)
John Calvin once said that zeal without doctrine is like a sword in the hands of a lunatic. Eternity really does hang in the balance so pastors should be more concerned about their theology than their outreach efforts. If you reach a thousand people with a false gospel and I reach 100 with the true Gospel, who has the greater impact? Nieuwhof continues: