I recently attended the ONE conference at NewSpring Church for senior pastors, youth pastors, and children’s pastors and man, did God speak to me there! I’m going to do a series of blogs on some of the things the Holy Spirit revealed to my heart, starting with this:
Because my friends and fellow leaders are such visionaries and big dreamers, a common topic of conversation is how big other churches are, how many people attend different conferences, and even how much growth is happening in different ministries of the same church. This is an awesome way to encourage one another and get bigger vision for where God may be leading us (after all, Ephesians 3:20 says He can do “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine”), but it can also be dangerous, because it’s really easy to start comparing churches and ministries. When we start comparing “ours” to “theirs,” we lose sight of God’s Kingdom because we are obsessing over our own kingdoms.
This can lead to “strategic evangelism,” in which ideas are pitched and people are talked to and ministries are promoted in such a way that one ministry (yours, if you’re the one doing this) should get everyone, and other ministries shouldn’t get anyone. Selfishness, greed, manipulation, and lying go on all the time under the banners of revelation (“God told me He wants MY church to be the biggest”), calling (“God called ME to be a successful minister, so I should succeed”), and other common church words. BUT…
God wants HIS Church to be the biggest – the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Church (with a capital C), not the church (with a lowercase c). And God may have called you to be a minister, and He may bless your ministry to appear successful, but HE is the one succeeding, HE is the one who should be famous, and without HIM your ministry and/or church would be a building filled with dead people condemned to hell – YOURSELF INCLUDED – and everything that’s done there God would see as filthy rags.
We can’t ever take possession of the things God has blessed us with; that includes leadership ability, lots or few people attending your ministry, a big or little building, one or eight services. And we can’t ever become jealous of that church being bigger than this church, because we are all part of the body of Christ, serving different purposes in different places so that the gospel can be preached to everybody!
“Do you want to control a move of God, or do you want to unleash it?” -Perry Noble