A typical week finds my email inbox filled with the usual plethora of junk mail,solicitations,the occasional plea for money from a Nigerian princess,and a host of other offers “too good to be true”.
On second thought, it’s just about all junk mail these days.
I have noticed a trend however in the emails I get from various ministries,and that trend involves numbers.Lots and lots of numbers.
Here is a small sampling of what I’m talking about:
“Do you want to see your church attendance grow by 30%“?
“Five Reasons Church Announcements Cause Problems”
“Seven ways members can actively prepare for sermons”.
“Six Components of a Strategic Church Communications Plan”
“Ten Sentences That Make Pastors Cringe”
“Avoid These 5 Bad Habits that Kill Church Growth at All Costs”
“35 Random Thoughts and Tips on The Reading of Books”
“Seven Church Facility Trends”
“Five Reasons Why the Large Single Site Church Is Declining”
Umm…I think you get the picture.
Numbers. Apparently that’s what it’s all about.
Lest you think these samples are fictitious let me assure you that they are all from nationally known ministries and various denominations.I’m really not sure why I even get some of these because I sure didn’t subscribe to all of them.Wait…that’s why it’s called spam,right?
I’m not sure what’s behind the church’s fascination with numbers,but I can tell you that it resembles the world’s obsession with growth strategies and expansion planning with an uncanny resemblance.
I think not. From where I sit on the front row I hear an incessant clamoring for more,more,more.
More people in the pew.
More money in the offering plate.
More and bigger facilities.
More of everything.
Except Jesus and His love.I can’t remember the last time I heard the call go out for more of Jesus.
What’s driving this insatiable appetite for more and bigger everything in the church?
I am of the belief that our carnal,or sin nature is the driving force behind all of this.Our nature is to want more of the things of this life more than the things of God.
It’s a heart issue.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34 NKJV
The church’s treasure is no longer Christ and His glory.It is in showing to the world that it is on equal footing with it’s wealth,opulence, and abundance.
In doing so the church has aligned itself with another church we read about in Revelation chapter three,the church of Laodicea.
Long gone are the humble shepherds who care for the flock God entrusted to them.In their place are PhD’s from the business community who know how to obtain financing and create mammoth structures that reach toward the heavens,yet know precious little about matters of the heart.
I cannot help but wonder how our Lord must grieve over this present generation.He who has given unto the church the words of liberty and life surely must wonder why that is not enough.
Why is the church not satisfied?
Why must the church always have more of everything but God?
I firmly believe in organization and structure in the church.But do we really need someone to tell us how to increase attendance by 30%?
Why isn’t 2% or 4% or even 5% sufficient,especially if the growth is real growth and not yet another bunch of church hoppers looking to have their ears tickled?
“Six Components of a Strategic Church Communications Plan”? Really? How about this for a “strategic growth plan”…
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2Ch 7:14 NKJV
Sounds to me like there needs to be a return to the old paths and cry aloud to a Holy God who said He would hear from heaven.
That is of course,if you’re all about the numbers….