A major issue in our western consumerist culture is that consumerist concerns are immediately applied to the way Church is viewed and practiced. What can be offered for me? What do I gain by being a part of this congregation? What can we do to attract more folks?
While this is not only a problem in the contemporary or western Church (think of the issues mentioned by Paul and Jude concerning preachers in it for their own gain, or the Corinthian battle for pneumatic-supremacy), it has been sharpened by our propensity to consume. If we don’t find what we are shopping for then we move on. This does not tend to be driven by any biblical notion of priorities for participating in the life of the Church. Instead, it seems to be driven by market values (e.g., programs).
Certainly there is much to be said for trying to reach our culture in relevant ways, but should it be done at the expense of seriously thinking through our practices as the Church? Why do we offer this or that message or program? Why do we feel the need for it? In fact, what is the purpose of the Church? Why do we exist and to what end? Do our various programs actually advance this center or do they simply offer trendy appeals to consumers?
I have often remembered the words of old-time evangelist Vance Havner who wrote, “Your job as the pastor is not to fill the pews, but to fill the pulpit.” If we are faithful to what matters, we will not try (by other routes) to accomplish what God has determined to do if we are faithful witnesses to His life and kingdom.
Originally posted at bluechippastors.org on August 16, 2012
Some of My Publications
Community: Biblical and Theological Reflections in Honor of August H. Konkel
Pentecostal Theological Education in the Majority World: The Graduate and Post-Graduate Level. Vol. 1
Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal Tradition: A Reception History
A Theology of the Spirit in the Former Prophets: A Pentecostal Perspective
"Emerging Homiletics: A Pentecostal Response" in
"N.T. Wright's Justification and the Cry of the Spirit" in
- Concerning Contexts for Interpretation of Scripture February 19, 2022
- Hearing the Prophets on Justice: A Response April 27, 2021
- Proverbs 31 and the Virtuous Woman March 11, 2021
- Genesis 2.18 and the “Not Good” of Creation: Random Reflections February 3, 2021
- A Quick Exodus: A Brief Response January 4, 2021
- baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Biblical hermeneutics
- Biblical Interpretation
- Christ Jesus
- Holy Spirit
- literary interpretation
- Old Testament
- Society for Pentecostal Studies
- Trinity Bible College
Baby Christians are the sign of an evangelist. But you need four more gifts to bring the babies to maturity in the faith. The list is: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The sign of a baby leader is the lack of the rest of the gifts for the church in Ephesians 4:11-16. No one has all those gifts except Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the head and cornerstone of the church. Here’s how God builds a church in Ephesians 2:19-22.
Here’s a prayer for asking God to bring maturity to the church:
Love that quote at the end.
Reblogged this on συνεσταύρωμαι: living the crucified life and commented:
what happens when we utilize and attractional way of thinking instead of engaging a missional way of thinking….
If my thoughts are worth anything here, I’m amazed at how many ‘followers’ don’t seem to have a grasp on the ‘correct following’ way of thinking. There is so much in God’s Word that we have busied ourselves with to avoid and evade, rather than to believe/receive/obey. “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to Him for righteousness.” Our patriarchs of the First Covenant (OT) hear-and-did (shema). Faith and works is how it is reiterated in the Fulfilled Covenant (NT). Same/same. In my walk in Yeshua/Jesus (since 1971), I have found that, when we get our foundation correct, all the other pieces can fall into their correct place. Also, it seems, Yeshua said we needed the Ruach ha Qodesh/Holy Breath/Spirit in our lives. The way it happened at Sinai and Acts. When we understand that “God is the same yesterday, today and forever,” so much makes sense, it is nearly unfathomable. BUT GOD helps, when we ‘do what we know to do’ as it says, “To him who knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.”