During the days of Nazi Germany there arose a Confessing Church movement that rose against the German Church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945) less than 5,000 were aligned with the Confessing Church. Hence, only a remnant held fast to the biblical position with about half of the churches conforming due to political and societal pressure. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that when push comes to shove, a large percentage of pastors, churches, and so-called Christians will probably bow to pressure and allow the norms of culture to become their credo for Christianity.
In my over 25 years of overseeing a church and ministering to senior leaders, I have seen countless pastors (including myself) become frustrated because those in their congregations either do not catch or follow the vision of the church, or the vision they are preaching does not seem to make much of a difference.
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.
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.
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