So many spiritual leaders are competing these days. Visibility, getting noticed, and ranking is huge. Being the biggest, fastest growing and having the largest audience seems to be all that matters. Where did all this come from and where will it end?
Photo Credit: Christi Childs
I remember when my Dad found out about a small Nazarene church in our town whose building program was struggling. He volunteered our large maintenance staff to go over and take the project from the sheetrock phase on. We invested heavily with money and manpower.
After a couple of months, their pride and joy auditorium was complete. The 72 year old pastor welcomed us to their small dedication and openly described his amazement at one local church helping another. Why? “The kingdom.”
Guess what? It’s not YOUR kingdom, it’s HIS.
Here is how I keep that focus continually:
- Jesus is the only big deal in His kingdom. The rest of us are “ants,” worker-bees, spiritual farm hands.
- My brother who pastors a small, inner-city congregation is just as important as the sprawling suburban megachurch leader. We are all sinners saved by grace, all destined to stand shoulder-to-shoulder around the throne forever in worship.
- Rigidity is out of place in Christ’s kingdom. Most partitioning walls are over very small nuances of doctrine and practice. Don’t get me wrong; we MUST maintain distance from deep error. Let’s face it, however: We don’t need as many groups as we have in America to maintain spiritual purity!
- I can fellowship with a person who believes in a different baptismal formula…a different theology of free will…a different worship style. Do they love Jesus? Have they been to the cross and been born again? We are brothers serving the same King.
3. “Promoting others”
- You will really turn religious heads when you announce another church's event from your pulpit…when you call their name and brag on them publicly…when you swap pulpits with them one Sunday!
- Try sending a generous offering to another church in your area. Do a cooperative Good Friday service or city-wide serving outreach put on by ten churches. It gives the devil a black eye and astonishes those who thought organized religion was a fistfight for turf.
4. Be “heavenly-minded”
- Heaven will not have “Baptist boulevard” and “Methodist manor.” It will be billions of believers from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Our cultures and distinctive will all add glory to the One on the throne and unto the Lamb.
- Three years ago I saw a huge pavilion in Nigeria that seats one million believers. It made me think of our six thousand seat auditorium as a “phone booth!” Wait until you see the multitude without number waving palm branches before the throne. Your little hand will be raised out there in the sea of people somewhere waving in adoration at Jesus!
Let’s grow up. Consider the kingdom. Promote your brothers. Don’t be small minded. Live for Jesus. He’s all that really matters.
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