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August 20, 2009
Ed Stetzer on lusting over other pastors' churches.
posted by UrL Scaramanga
| Comments (12)
Related Tags: Church growth, Church Health, Contentment, Discouragement, Expectations, Preachers, Video
I wrote about this a while back - I think the analogy is right on! The average local church is a gift of God!
Posted By: Robert Austell | August 20, 2009 4:32 PM
Thank you, Ed.
Posted By: Shannon Caroland | August 21, 2009 8:19 AM
I like this!
Posted By: Ron Swanson | August 21, 2009 11:49 AM
So so true. But is it so wrong for me to be inspired and motivated by the "cool" churches? My people will never be CEOs or yachters, and our worship team will never top the charts. But a dream of extended influence is a powerful thing that keeps me going.
I'll never win a marathon, either, but watching and pretending I'm a Kenyan distance runner has motivated me to keep pounding the pavement.
Some fantasies are redemptive.
Posted By: Jarrod | August 21, 2009 12:56 PM
I guess it's human nature to lust after "success".
When a church starts to get very large, I always wonder what they are doing wrong.
The Christian message has never been that popular.
Maybe they are offering something else.
Posted By: Steve Martin | August 21, 2009 3:02 PM
Well, it might help if we stopped automatically assuming people with large churches deserve speaking gigs and book deals.
The clear mentality is that their voices matter more because their churches are bigger (i.e. successful, blessed, the better way to be.)
and it perpetuates the idea that "larger" churches should be the norm.
Posted By: nathan | August 21, 2009 3:52 PM
If size is a measure of God's blessing then the Mormon church down the street is REALLY being blessed with their multi-million dollar facility and technology. Man's idea of success, casts of thousands on Sundays, cool, attractive pastors with major book deals and media appearances, etc., is not God's measure. Lusting after "extended influence" is just stinking human pride and it is the father to a thousand different sins going on in evangelical ministry today. It's the influence of Christ we should long after.
Posted By: JD | August 25, 2009 7:39 AM
Lost MSS readings: Thou shall not covet thy fellow Pastor's megachurch. Or he who looks at a megachurch with the intention of getting as large or larger than they has already committed ministry adultery in his heart.
Posted By: Basil | August 25, 2009 11:59 AM
On point: It seems the major offense might be to God's sovereignty over where He has placed us. "How dare anyone waste *my talents* here..."
Counter point: I wonder if this "locality" focus is ignoring the tech trend. It's interesting that the other guy mentions that "ministry pornography" is something to tweet. In fact, doesn't even this video show the way technology is enabling voices to have "expanded influences"? The world is changing even as it stays the same.
I do believe though, that all this connectivity and availability actually thwarts some of the deep (and often painful and difficult) work God is trying to do in our lives...and can only happen when we are confronted with our full humanity.
Posted By: bil_ | August 25, 2009 12:26 PM
Why is there so much competition, envy and church lust among pastors out there? One reason is that there is a glut in the pastor market. With the rise of pentecostalism and so-called nondenominationalism, the bar to "ministry" is horribly low, if not non-existent. Sooooo many people are starting "churches" and desiring to become "pastors" that it's no wonder they're at each other's throats. Even pastors have to eat! And why is there so many people striving to become pastors? Is it because they really want to serve? No- they want to glorify themselves and enrich themselves financially, and the only way to do that is to expand, expand expand, like a coffee franchise. If they really wanted to serve, they wouldn't be so obsessed with numbers- about how much their churches have grown, how big their new buildings are, etc.
Posted By: Johann | August 25, 2009 3:26 PM
One of the 10 commandments of our American culture is that you can't argue with success. One church that I know of exemplified this when it announced the opening of its own facility after moving around from several different auditoriums. Their bulletin in the mail read "We've gone from 40 to 4000 in ten years...We must be doing something right!
Posted By: Ignatius | August 25, 2009 6:00 PM
mm hmm. Two simple books have rebuked me of this. Henri Nouwens "In The Name Of Jesus" and Eugene Petersons "Under the Unpredictable Plant". The local church pastor in the rural area is doing some of the most cutting edge work in this sense. Conversely I've seen too many ambitious planters in urban areas really just going after the "cool" and "hip" folk.
It's called "careerism".
Posted By: Wayne Park | August 27, 2009 12:10 AM
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