There is a great tendency in human nature to crave the affirmation of other human beings. With some people, their need for affirmation is so great it hinders their ability to discern between the will of God and the will of man. What is more alarming is the fact that those who lead churches and Christian organizations are not exempt from this tendency.
I spent some quality time with one of the best church planters in a particular city. In just a few years, he has planted almost 10 campuses or extensions of the original church he started about 10 years ago. He was also involved in a prayer meeting with other church planters for several years. When I asked him if this weekly prayer meeting was still functional, he told me that it no longer exists because most of these planters are no longer ministering in the city and that many of the churches are either closed or are led by another pastor. He said that he has almost no pastor friends left in the area.
The Bible uses certain animals as metaphors to depict certain kinds of people in the kingdom. Pastors and senior leaders of organizations need to discern at least three kinds of people in their organizations to effectively lead.
Although most people may have a mixture of all three traits at times in their lives, it is very possible that either the negative or positive traits of a person can suck them fully into either the dark side or the light of the Kingdom of God. It is inevitable that every growing organization and/or church will attract all three of these kinds of people simultaneously.
Courtship and dating are some of the least discussed topics in the church. Yet dating has caused the most havoc, destroyed countless lives, resulted in unwanted pregnancies and abortions, and even split churches apart. Since most of the church doesn’t teach on this subject, a vacuum exists resulting in our teenagers adopting the worldview of popular culture. This has led many church youth groups to become havens for dating and premarital sex.
I have served as a senior pastor for over 30 years, and I have also worked extensively with political, community and business leaders over the past three decades. As my understanding regarding the Kingdom of God and marketplace ministry has evolved, I see church with a new lens and notice the frustration many young people and professionals have regarding their local churches. Many in these categories feel limited rather than celebrated and released into their callings.
Jesus and the apostles did not inaugurate another religious system, but the age of the Kingdom of God; As we examine the gospels and the book of Acts, the main theme of the preaching was the Kingdom of God- not the church and not a religion.
The Bible teaches that the church is supposed to influence the world as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16), but instead the church has often been influenced by the world. The book of Ezekiel 22:26 sends a stern rebuke to believers who make no distinction between that which is common and that which is holy (by “common” I mean worldly things and values).
In this article “secular” refers to worldly rather than holy and set apart for God’s purposes. Truly any congregation that has no distinction from the world is close to extinction. The reason so many evangelical churches have grown so rapidly is not necessarily because of a true spiritual revival but because of cultural accommodation.
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Text: Psalm 16:1-6
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I want to project into the next generation the three L’s of living, loving and legacy. This is because these are the three fundamentals of why God created us and how He designed us to live.