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Devotionals

Insight Into the Carnal Purpose Driven Church Growth Scheming Mind

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828ministries.com H3'ed 8/1/18
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Yes, after many years of biblical review, Nieuwhof has boiled the first two signs of a mediocre church to bad singing and poor sound equipment. I tell you what. Let's play his game and pretend you have all the resources you could want. You buy all the top of the line sound equipment and bring in professional singers, musicians and tech support. There are plenty of churches like that today. Just look at Lakewood, Saddleback or The Potters House. Yet none of them preaches the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to Romans, no one gets saved then. So you have tens of thousands of people showing up each week to be entertained beyond their most carnal dreams -- and they are all still going to hell. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this by saying they would travel the world for a single convert but in doing so make him twice the son of hell that they are.

"3. School Play Quality Live Streams. It's great to see many churches go online"and many churches big and small are now streaming their services. It's so easy to do with Facebook Live, other streaming services and a simple camera. But as you go online, ask yourself: would you watch you ? Honestly, I'll bet the answer a lot of the time is no. Many churches suffer from what I call 'school play' syndrome. Their services look like an elementary school play. Not great lighting, not great production, not great sound, and a lot of sincere people who really don't know what they're doing. Let's be honest. The ONLY reason you watch a school play is because your kid is in it. And the number one question you're asking the entire time is "when will this be over?" So question: if your church service looks like a school play online, why are you broadcasting it? If you're going to be online, audio and video quality matter. Again, you don't need a six or seven figure solution here to make it better. Making sure your online sound is captured through a good set of mics and mixer, a few well-placed lights and a decent camera will help immensely. If you can't get to the point where you can broadcast the music with decent quality, maybe just broadcast the message. The question worth asking is: am I helping people come to Christ by sharing this, or am I keeping people from Christ by sharing this? Maybe ask a few unchurched people who will tell you the truth to evaluate your stream. And don't get discouraged, you may be a few tweaks or simple purchases away from being school-play quality. All of this should help you accomplish the mission, not hinder the mission. And I'm just not sure school play quality broadcasts help much in most cases." -- Carey Nieuwhof

Are we sensing the disconnect yet? Does the Gospel matter at all? Can the Gospel overcome poor production? Can it overcome an uninspiring website or poor streaming? Now in a perfect world, these things should be worked on. We should strive for excellence in what we do but to believe that it affects whether or not people get saved should be anathema. That places our carnal tricks above the importance of the Gospel. Do we believe that God's Word will not return void or not?

"4. A Lame Website. Another sure sign you've settled for mediocrity is your website. Many churches build it and forget it. Sure, hopefully you update it with the current series and a few announcements, but no one has really taken the time to think through it deeply. Chances are everyone who visits your church for the first time in person has been to your website first. After all, that's exactly how you behave. You never go to a restaurant, hotel or even city without first checking it out online, and any new person is going to check your church out online before they visit. Act like that's true. Invest like that's true. Think like that's the case. The home page of your website should be built with your guest in mind. If you don't have a First Time, New Here, or Plan a Visit option with location and services on your front page, you're not thinking about your first-time guest. The most visited pages of your website will almost always be your home page, your message content and (believe it or not), your staff or team page. Making sure those are designed with the guest in mind can make the difference of someone deciding to come or to stay away. Mediocre churches are reluctant to invest time or money into their website. Smart churches do both." -- Carey Nieuwhof

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