Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement,
Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative
Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church,
modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, InstitutionalizedChurch, Apostle Paul, Rick Warren,
Olive Drive Church
Much of the InstitutionalizedChurch today is spellbound by the greedy drive
that continually seeks for more and more. And it is all because of the fact that many of
our church leaders have never learned the basic life lesson of contentment.
Over the years pastor after pastor has
fallen because of it. One had a very successful ministry that quickly grew from nothing to
one of the largest churches in town. The churchs rapid growth was the result of the
fact that it had built up an evangelical outreach ministry that flourished in a big way.
Because so many people were getting saved, everyone in town from every church imaginable
brought friends to these events. Many of these guests were saved as a result, but they
would eventually drift off to the churches that their friends attended. This bolstered
many youth groups throughout the city.
The pastor of the host church led a
spirit-filled congregation of servants who advanced their ministry upon the belief that
they should to trust God for their growth and finances. After a while, though, the pastor
decided to change directions. He was filled with covetousness. Even though his own church
was still prospering from the outreach ministry, he began to feel envy and resentment
because he was feeding other churches. Because his church was financing the whole
ministry, he wanted all of the pot, not just part of it. He was also discontent with the
church that he had. It was big enough, but in his mind not bona-fide.
Because of his envy he shut down the
evangelistic ministry and left the denomination that he was in while completely changing
the format of the church. The church faltered from that point on. Eventually coveting got
the best of him and he fell into sin, which ended his marriage and his ministry for good.
Another pastor led a successful church in
town. Through the years he had managed to move his church to the outskirts of town and
build a big beautiful campus. He was a wise businessman and was able to get the entire
campus constructed with absolutely no dept to the congregation. However, the immense
facility lacked one thing, a full-fledged sanctuary. Consequently, the church body had to
temporarily meet in the fellowship hall. In spite of this inconvenience, ministry
flourished and the church grew daily.
The congregation was founded
on a rich history of tradition and the task of erecting a sanctuary was a very important
mission. However, rather than waiting on God to provide the funds for the worthy endeavor,
the pastor brought in growth consultants to help him raise money for the project. A lot of
manipulative behavior rose out of this that eventually enraged the congregation. The
sanctuary was completed, but the contention over it rose with each passing week. It was
not long before the pastor, who had faithfully and diligently served the congregation for
decades, was forced prematurely into retirement. As a result he never had the opportunity
to fully enjoy what he had worked so hard to build.
To this day, though magnificent, the
sanctuary has remained a point of contention in that body. The church has never been the
same since as enrollment consistently has fallen every year. The church remains a shell of
its former self.
The lesson is that covetousness leads to
our ruin while contentment opens the door to more than we could even imagine. As Paul
stated, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil MKJV) As the fall of Lucifer clearly
demonstrates, covetousness will lead us to our end. But in contentment there is strength
and anything for Gods glory can be attained.
The key to the worship of God lies in
contentment. Only those who are solely satisfied in Him will come before Him in
thankfulness for who He is and what He has done. The pastor who is always searching for
more will never be a worshipping pastor. He will be filled with too much covetousness to
acknowledge the provisions he has been given. He will not lead a worshipping congregation
either. His flock will be filled with the same strife and contention that drives the
church leadership, as together they entertain themselves with their constant pursuit of
more and more never to be fulfilled. They will seek God only for what He can do for them
rather than praising Him for that which He has already given. You cannot worship the
Creator when your focus is on worshipping the creation.
Those who worship the creation will never
be satisfied. Created things are perishable things. But the worshipper who sets his heart
on things above is content. He will seek the Lord in every circumstance with a heart of
thanksgiving and a mouth full of praise.
Stay Tuned for More!!!!
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