Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Come To Our Church...

"This week in "Thomasville" (or fill in your own city location), we would like you to join us at ________________. Join our Facebook page. Watch our Commercials. Come to our Meetings. Visit our ____________, Etc., etc., etc."

For most of us, when we INVITE you to ‘CHURCH’, in doing so, we are inviting you with the hopes that you will become a ‘special member’ of what we believe to be the best fellowship / church / home group in the area. Though we won’t tell you, we do believe that if you attend somewhere else, you will miss out on THE best entertainment / performance / presentation / group gathering over all the others in the area because of our special speaker, type of presentation, variety, choice and presentation of music, drama / skits, the times we meet, location, facility, and the clientele we represent.

In fact, in order to recruit you to ‘our location’, we will do whatever it takes. We will BEG you, BUFFET you, BERATE you, WOO you, MANIPULATE you, SHAME you, TRICK you, in reality, we will use every SALES GIMMICK at our disposal, all in the name of God to GET YOU / HOOK YOU to join our KINGDOM / CHURCH / FELLOWSHIP / LOCATION / INSTITUTION / CAUSE.

But in reality, and we do it all in the name of Christianity and for His glory, know that if you are already active in another church-type setting, know that 90% of our efforts and energy will be expended to “HOOK” you without you realizing what is going on.

For some of us, we are proud, pharisaical, and naïve enough to actually believe WE ARE the best, have a CORNER ON THE MARKET SPIRITUALLY, and are A STEP ABOVE everyone else.

And in our ZEAL we are kept BUSY because if we slow down and look too closely at what we are REALLY doing, we might discover, expose, and reveal that our true hidden motive and intentions do NOT honor our Lord. Therefore, the more we DO, the BUSIER we are, the more FOCUSED on the GOAL / VISION of our Pastoral Team, the more we are BRAINWASHED into following our own RULES / REGULATIONS or jumping through HOOPS - that even with excitement, the more we believe God is pleased with us. AND if we can CONVERT you to OUR Kingdom / Movement / Location, you are now one more person with the ENERGY, RESOURCES, TIME, TALENTS, MONEY, and LISTS OF NAMES that we can USE in GETTING and RECRUITING others.

You see, if we can MANIPULATE or PROSELYTE you over to our cause, it is in reality better for us. It gives us the sense of not only SPIRITUAL SUCCESS in greater numbers but FOOLING OURSELVES that GOD is blessing us because of it. And we CAN’T SLOW DOWN, because if we did, we would realize that even with ALL OUR PROGRAMS & EVENTS, and even though we present 52+ life-changing messages a year, most people in our FELLOWSHIP are not really changing – NOT REALLY. We are BUSY DOING without BEING. We have equated BUSYNESS with DISCIPLESHIP. We are in REALITY walking with the INSTITUTION which has become an IDOL instead of WALKING WITH GOD. We are LEARNING A LOT, but APPLYING VERY LITTLE. We can’t remember what we learned two weeks ago or are clueless regarding what God is speaking to us about today. But we do know, OUR WAY OF DOING IT is STILL THE BEST. Why? Just look at all the people!

AND if we can CAJOLE you over to our area, that means MORE MONEY for us to OPERATE our RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION that we call The Church by providing MORE PEOPLE and MONEY to support our PROGRAMS, HIGHER SALARIES, and GREATER, NEWER FACILITIES. And if we are really good at it, you will never realize how we HOOKED you in the process, but simply made you feel A PART of our way of doing things and thinking. And as long as you JUMP THROUGH OUR HOOPS, GET INVOLVED, INVITE OTHERS, GIVE YOUR TIME, MONEY, and TALENTS, as long as you PERFORM and THINK as we do, you will always FEEL WELCOMED and A PART of our fellowship and church. Fail to do so, and we will WITHHOLD that which you so desparately want and seek.

If you don’t know Christ, we don’t want to OFFEND anyone so you will PASSIVELY be a by-product of our investments of time and money. After all, it takes a LONG TIME to actually CARE about you and to not look at you as a NUMBER, STATISTIC, or NOTCH on our Spiritual Belts. And to be honest, as much as we don’t want you to go to hell, understand, if we expend most of our time and energy REACHING OUT TO YOU, over a period of time hopefully LEADING YOU TO THE LORD, think of the TIME it will take to get you PRIMED and TAUGHT to our WAY OF THINKING where you will GIVE FINANCIALLY to support our Institution. And if we EXPEND all that TIME & ENERGY on REACHING and DISCIPLING you, we may very well MISS all those other CHRISTIANS that some other INSTITUTION will “suck up” first.

So understand, no matter what we DO, hear what we are SAYING, we REALLY DO CARE, but most of our effort has to be going after people who are already SHEEP. We can always FIND SOMETHING they are not happy with where they currently are, where we can play on that ‘sore’ and expose it, and strategically present to them THE REASON WHY they should leave where they are to COME JOIN US, where WE will be EVERYTHING THEY EVER NEED. And who knows, maybe when we GET THEM, somewhere in the process, you will be a friend of one of those individuals, and then they can INVITE YOU.

We LIVE for our NEXT SERVICE. We LONG for our NEXT GATHERING. We are EXCITED about all that is going on where we WORSHIP as an INSTITUTION. We don’t call it that. But IT IS our FOCUS. Because in reality, 99% of what comes out of our mouths – the thing which we talk about the most is our CHURCH, not Jesus. We have EQUATED our SERVING THE INSTITUTION with the same thing as KNOWING, EXPERIENCING, and WALKING WITH God as our Abba Father. It is, isn’t it?

Maybe… just maybe, if we focused on the PERSON more than the PROGRAMS, maybe if we TALKED ABOUT the SAVIOR more than our SERVICES, maybe if we really LOVED ABBA FATHER more than our CHURCH BUILDINGS & PROGRAMS, maybe if people could see more OF HIM flowing out of our every pore and fiber of our being and lives, that comes from a passionate, intimate, REAL RELATIONSHIP instead of the RELIGIOUS MACHINE which we promote, maybe if we would start loving people ‘WITHOUT A HOOK’ WITHOUT ALTERIOR MOTIVES, maybe if we stopped discipling people to our Organization, and rather discipled them to an Abba Father who loves them unconditionally, then maybe, just maybe, those around us would SEE JESUS uncluttered from all our 'religious fluff', and maybe we would REALLY IMPACT and CHANGE the world GOD’S WAY, for HIS GLORY, as a BY-PRODUCT of KNOWING HIM.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Greg, great article. I want to sign up as a follower but can't seem to get my picture uploaded. So though I'm not listed as a follower I am following your site. Look forward to your next post.