I just finished reading a great little article by pastor Steven Furtick. In this article he talked about how the church has a tendency to turn good thing into idols. He talked about the many times that what starts as something good becomes a distraction from what really matters.
My initial impulse was to jump up and down and cheer. You see I grew up in churches that made this very mistake. They became so enthrall end by the ways that they had done things in the past that they were blind to the fact that they were not reaching people. For these people the methods became more important than the mission. Now, I am not doubting the intentions of these fine folks. I am certain that these people were doing what they felt was right.
While my initial impulse was to cheer the truths shared by pastor Steve I soon realized that many, if not most, of the people in the church are guilty of this same thing as one time or another. In my generation we have made a habit of criticizing this tendency in our predecessors. However, if we are honest, we are just as guilty. When we argue in favor of our style of music, our style of dress, or our methods of ministry we are, in essence doing the same thing that they are. In that moment we are making our methods more important than the mission.
So, where does this leave us? At the end of the day, our methods are all for the advancement of our mission. In the past that may have looked different than it does today and it will look different in the future. In looks different in small towns and big cities. It even looks different between different churches in the same city.
We should do all we can to find the best methods for spreading the Gospel. However, we should take constant care to not allow ourselves to become so enamored but our methods that we elevate them above the gospel itself. Remember that what works in your church is what works in your church, what works in your community is what works in your community, what works for your people is what works for your people. By all means examine the way you do this. Look around at other ministries to learn what they are doing. BUT, never make your methods greater than your mission.
Here is a link to the article by Pastor Steven.Matt Norman
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