How Did We Get Here
I believe there are some things that brought us to the point where our evangelism leads to empty professions of faith. In this article, I want to take a look at some of them.
A big is better attitude
I realize that all of us like to be looked up to. I also realize that those who pastor larger churches have more respect from men than those who pastor smaller churches. It ought not be this way. If you take a good look at early Christian history, one of the things that brought about the Catholic Church was larger churches dominating smaller churches.
There are several churches in America that are very large and have Bible Colleges that are training men for the ministry. It seems to me that the pastors of these churches think that because they are big, they have the responsibility of teaching the other churches how to do the same thing they have done.
It is interesting to see how many of the preachers coming from these schools try to emulate the pastor of these big churches. When God calls a man into the ministry, He calls him because that man has the characteristics He wants to use in His work. He didn’t call him to be a copy of the pastor or founder of the school he went to.
I know a pastor that graduated from one of these big schools who went to the pastor/founder of the school and asked what he expected of the students. He was told that he wanted to turn out a bunch of copies of himself. This is prideful and arrogant. When God wanted a Paul, He called Paul. When He wanted an Isaiah, He called Isaiah.
Sorry for the rabbit trail. Let me get back on track.
There are two problems with the attitude that big is better. The first is, big is not better, faithfulness is. God is more concerned how faithful a church is to His Word than He is how many members are in the church. Of course God wants His churches to grow, but not at the expense of biblical principles.
The church is also called a body in Scripture. In a body there is both healthy and unhealthy growth. It is healthy for a baby to grow into an adult. If the baby does not grow, something is seriously wrong. However, once the baby reaches adulthood, further growth is unhealthy. It leads to obesity and all kinds of physical disorders. Adults grow by multiplication of their kind and having children. This is why God ordained marriage and the family.
I believe the same is true of God’s churches. When a church is small, it should grow numerically, but when it reaches maturity it should grow by multiplication. There should be other churches born out of that church.
I live in the Bible Belt and it seems that it is impossible to be out of walking distance of a Baptist church. I can assure you that more churches are needed in our area. Many of the “Baptist” churches in our area are no longer standing for the truths of God’s word. New churches that will stand up for God are needed to take of the slack left by these churches.
Let me close this section by answering a question that should be obvious, How big is big enough?
The answer is, I don’t know, but there are some guidelines to follow. It has been found that a true shepherd can only properly shepherd about 200 sheep. To me, this is a general guideline to follow. To properly pastor people we need to really know them. We need to know their personalities, their interests, their sorrows, and their joys. In the very large churches, the pastors cannot properly pastor the people so he delegates his responsibilities to others. He becomes more of a corporate CEO than a pastor.
I can just hear some of you saying, “What about the church in Jerusalem? It had thousands of members.” This is true, but it also had the Apostles to direct it, and later in
To be continued…