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October 29, 2004

Learn From The Pros. . .

There is a constant flow of Christian junk mail that goes across my desk. Everyone seems to have their own conference or convention that will give you the best advice for growing your church into what it should be--or so that is what they are trying to tell me. One piece of mail caught my attention today, partly because of the cool sliding paper window on the front and because one of their speakers is Rob Bell (a minister of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI)

As I was perusing the flyer, I was struck by a line on the fundraising page. It reads in bold letters, "Learn from the pros that have experienced enormous success." It probably wouldn't have caught my attention had I not just put down the book, Praying Like Jesus, by James Mulholland, that I am reading through. (Mulholland's book was written as a response or alternative to The Prayer of Jabez.)

The section of Muhlolland's book I was reading questions the validity of megachurches and where the focus of the present day church is. His suggestion to his readers is that we focus on the things that Jesus focused on--like helping the sick and poor, and getting those who have means to do the same thing. His words really have my mind in motion today.

I guess I question whether Jesus would ever have used such a flyer if he were alive today. Would he have a giant convention where everyone can come and learn how his success has come about? Would he have an award winning, best seller book? Would he be the pastor of a megachurch? What would it be focused on? I don't think he would.

Even more, if one were to be making a flyer for him to promote his ministry back then, I don't think they would say, "Learn from the pro that has experienced enormous success." I don't think one could look back at his ministry and say there was much success. Many questioned him. Only a few really followed and devoted their lives to him, and they deserted him at the end. He wasn't flashy. He did not have a giant support staff and a magnanamous building to minister out of. What few possessions he had were gambled for by some soldiers.

Why is the church trying to be such a glorious and large thing? Why do we strive to out do the world at their own game with "church business" and "marketing"? Why after all these years are we struggling with the simple?

Even more painful are my reflections on my ministry. What have I done to further the kingdom? How have the ministries that I oversee done good for the Body of Christ, and more importantly for those who are in need and hard to love?

It is a somber, reflective day in my mind. . .I'm glad it's raining outside.

1 comments:

francis said...

Wally, the older I get the more I feel this way...

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