In my reading of the word of God over the past 36 years I have noticed a keen difference between the biblical measure of success and the way many American churches seem to measure success.
Many of the ways American churches measures success are in fact direct violations of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 23. In this passage Jesus speaks against people loving titles, celebrity status, and desiring prominent places in public events. The following are my opinions regarding five myths for success that have crept into the church from American culture.
The church has seen the rise of “celebrity cult status” pastors who act like spiritual superstars.
In this article I define rock stars as those who act as little gods who believe they are above everyone else. They walk around with an entourage, body guards, and are inaccessible to family, friends, high-level staff and peers, and are unaccountable islands to themselves.
Satan is the author of rebellion, which is the root of all sin. He rebelled against God’s rule and continues to rebel against God’s rule through willing people who rebel against spiritual authority. This is the major way churches are divided and even destroyed.
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.
I have been a pastor almost thirty-four years and have been involved in initiating or participated in many local, citywide and national prayer gatherings. God has made it very clear that our first priority as leaders is to spend time with Him before we are sent out to minister (Mark 3:14). The apostle Paul also implores all believers to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In spite of all this, there are many denominational and non-denominational churches that do not have a regular prayer meeting. Consequently, in spite of the many good programs they may have, there is a huge gap in the church.
As a lead pastor for more than three decades, I have observed that many people in the church have an orphan spirit. Not only that, but there are organizations and churches that function more like an orphanage than a life giving community. By orphan spirit I am referring to people who have a sense of alienation from their father and/or those who attempt to earn their father’s love through success.
The past several decades we have seen a dramatic decline in doctrinal and biblical preaching. We have gone from theology to therapy in the pulpits. In the past decade we went from therapy to motivational speaking instead of preaching.
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