Where all your answers are questioned...
I can understand what he is saying, I’ve seen church splits, at the Salt Lake ICoC, and Southeast CC, where in one the pastor took a large number of the congregation with him, and another gave an ultimatum to try and force most of the congregation’s hand (which went in their disfavor). At Faith Community (just before I moved over to SECC) one member of the congregation literally demanded to be made an associate pastor if the lead pastor wanted him to keep coming (the pastor wisely waved him goodbye). What he’s talking about is one of the reasons why I’ve never started a house church out hear in Eagle Mountain; there’s already Faith Community (Independent Fundamentalist plant), Coram Deo (an Assemblies of God planting), an SBC planting, a Bible Group of an Evangelical Free church, Light House Baptist (an even more extreme fundamentalist planting), and just this weekend Living Word Baptist Church opened its doors and put a flyer on my door (I don’t know who they are associated with). All of these churches are basically competing for the dozen or so Christian families out here. I’m currently attending Coram Deo, which has had the past few weeks another couple visiting, formerly of Faith Community, and they’ve decided to join to. But, still, I have to agree with you. He compares church to corporations, that they have similar ills. I honestly don’t see much wrong with the diversification and fluidity of church, and I think church leaders need to adapt to these conditions rather than rail against it, trying to protect their jobs and the church’s finances. However, there are problems that go along with that diversification and fluidity, people go to whatever church tells them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear, that I think was the case in both of the church splits I mentioned above.
And this post I made just to click on the box so that it will email follow-up comments to me.
I think any time a church gets into having a paid staff, this is the kind of thing you invariably have to deal with. I liken it to one of Paul's comments that if you are married, your interests will be divided. If you wed your Christian community to a need to raise funds you will be divided. Not to say that it is bad, but you will definitely have to be conscious of how you address these things. I think the Pastor in the video has addressed this terribly.I think some of this is also a natural by-product of the way we have centered our churches around the Pastor (particularly amongst the independent/non-denoms). He is the star of the show. Our churches are defined by WHO pastors them. Soon it is referred to as Young's church, or Olsteen's church, or whomever's church. I have to say, in this regard, I think the Mormon church model may be on to something by raising up leaders within and rotating that leadership every few years.I think fluidity, in some cases, may be unfortunate; but I think trying to strong arm it away is even worse.Also, though I agree with your point, I think we all go to churches where we like what we hear. Who stays in a church they perpetually disagree with? I don't think I would last two weeks within a fundie church. :)
I can see what your saying, and I agree. And I agree the pastor in the video did a really poor job of addressing the issue. But I want to take a moment; you asked an interesting question at the end: Who stays in a church they perpetually disagree with? Well… I do. In the past few years I’ve gone to several churches, SLCC, SECC, Faith Community, Coram Deo, as well as over a dozen others visited. In all I’ve disagreed with statements of belief, pastors, elders, congregants. In all of them I’ve disagreed with some in often-significant ways. The other week at Coram Deo I was having this conversation about what churches I’ve been to with the song leader, and mentioned that I was a theistic evolutionist kinda guy. He was a six-day creationist. He had to ask (I always get asked this), “Well, you believe the Bible don’t you?” … Of course I do, what have we been talking about here! Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the hill, that I am going to have to understand, work with, love, and worship with others who I disagree with in often considerable ways. I don’t always stay with a church I am in perpetually in disagreement with, but my disagreement appears to be perpetual.This is one of the things I think church needs to teach, but is largely failing in. We need to learn to have an “in spite of” kind of love for one another, not a “because of” kind of love. I love you in spite of your sin, not because of your righteousness; I love you in spite of my disagreement with you, not because of our agreement; I love you in spite of your lack of love for me, not because you love me, etc.I know I’m getting a little off topic, but I had to answer your rhetorical question.
I sort of see his point. When I was in the relatively small town of Farmington, New Mexico, long-time residents could trace back for me the chain of churches each congregation had come from. In other words, there was First Church, then a group split off and started New Church, then New Church completely dissolved into Free Church and X Church, then a group from X Church started a House Church, etc. What they were doing consisted more of drawing believers to their offerings than actually evangelizing unbelievers and making disciples.Then again, I REALLY don't like it when people compare the church to a corporation. Where mega churches are concerned, though, the description is generally, and sadly, somewhat apt.
*What they were doing consisted more of drawing believers to their offerings than actually evangelizing unbelievers and making disciples.*I think if I sensed that this was the Pastor's concern, I could accept the argument a little more. However,to me, it just seemed like he was irked at his fiefdom being affected by everyone else's behaviors and attendance patterns. Not to mention the way he grandstandingly put his position as Pastor on a pedestal. Laymen? I think he has an over inflated view of his importance. The way he talked about "major ministries" was abhorrent. I guess it sucks to be in a minor ministry. :)
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