Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The modern church is enamored with church growth. It seemingly will do anything to get results. Entertaining music, dumbed down sermons, worldly techinques are applied to the ministry of the church--supposedly for the greater progress of the gospel. One author wrote a book and argued that unless churches rid themselves of pews, pulpits, and hymnals they will never reach the lost. Such thinking is pervasive in the church today--as if God is somehow limited by such concerns. Whatever happened to the Holy Spirit's role in saving lost sinners?

The Apostle Paul knew something about what would enhance the greater progress of the gospel. He wrote about it in Philippians 1:12. It didn't involve any kind of new program. It didn't depent on man's ingenuity--indeed I think its safe to say that no man would ever come up with that plan. What was God's plan for enhancing the greater progress of the gospel?--Locking up the Apostle Paul in a prison cell. God did just that, and because He did the gospel was made known to the whole Praetorian guard.

I'm so glad that God knows what He's doing when it comes to His plan and purpose. He's not dependent upon our ingenuity, planning, or scheming when it comes to reaching the lost. All He really needs is humble, obedient, available servants.

1 comment:

Bob West said...

Did someone just say, “All God really needs is humble, obedient, available servants?” That must be the reason why God’s grace is so abundant at Lewis and Clark Bible Church (LCBC), because there is no shortage of those types of servants there. That does not sound very “humble,” you say! Okay, nobody ever said that LCBC folks were perfect. No, we are far from perfect, but being humble to the world about serving the Lord was not the apostle Paul’s way either. Why is it that, unlike LCBC, the modern church tries to serve both the Lord and itself?

One possible explanation is in the verses following Philippians 1:12. In Philippians 1:14-18, Paul continues, “…and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife; but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice…”

I have said this before, “wherever there is perceived wiggle room, a self-serving heart will spin its own truth” and that is exactly what the modern church is doing. They have developed their own formula for preaching God’s Word and it includes a “there is nothing wrong with having our own agenda, too” clause. Scripture NEVER contradicts itself and Paul was emphatic when he said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

The modern church waters down Paul’s message of Christ Crucified, and all but completely ignores man’s sin nature, in order to serve its own “selfish ambition” for corporate growth. Every Corporate Finance Officer (CFO) knows that customers directly affect a corporation’s bottom line ($) and that they cannot attract and keep satisfied customers unless they give them what they want, and the world DOES NOT want to be told that it is sinful, helpless and undeserving of God’s Grace! These issues are fundamental to understanding God’s “good news” message of man’s salvation, and without that understanding, there can only be false hope and very little joy.