Archive for the ‘Purpose driven church movement’ Category

The question that comes up many times in church meetings is how to grow the church. Hours upon hours are poured into brainstorming ways to reach the lost and ways to effectively draw people into the church. In today’s culture, the church finds itself always competing with the world’s attention grabbers! In this never ending competition, the upper hand seems to always go to the world. I’m not sure if it’s good intentions or desperation which leads many in the church to seek out better ways to lure people in to hear the Gospel. Some churches use high profile speakers to head line a church event, some use self-help topics designed to be series that target the ills of society as an outreach by inviting people to come in for help and advice, and some use books other than the Bible to inspire it’s people on various subjects as how to be a better father/mother, how to live a successful Christian life, how to lead and be lead, some even go as far to promote a life change gospel that promises to make all your problems better, etc. in hopes to compete with the world around them. In all of these new culture driven events and programs where is the art of Biblical discipleship? If the church follows modern culture, the church will grow and grow quickly. I must ask the question, “Does church growth indicate how God is blessing our ministries?” Another question I must ask, “The people being drawn in by the new church outreach programs, are they being drawn in because of someone witnessing the true Gospel to them, or where they invited to hear about a self-help topic, to experience the music service and worship, or someone to make them laugh? Is the emphasis being put on the Gospel first and foremost or is the emphasis put on the outreach program with the Gospel being down on the list?Are new converts being disciple Biblically or are they being lead to believe that church work is discipleship?

Matt 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

First of all, we need to clearly define the church. The simple answer is the church is the body of believers. To be a member of the church you must be born again by the power of the Jesus Christ. The church and the preaching is for the building up of the body of Christ, therefore the church is not solely a place for those without Christ.  A big part of preaching is the Gospel and I do not dispute that fact, but the church must be used to preach on the spiritual things of God that the natural man( a person without Christ) cannot understand(1 Corinthians 2:13-15). The church needs to prepare the body of believers and teach them how to be Christ followers

The next thing we need to focus on as the body of Christ, is what did the Bible say about bringing people to the church? Should we invite our friends and family to church with us? Should be use Gospel tracks? Should we invite strangers to church? Should we witness to people when we are outside of our church? The answer to all of the above questions is “YES”. I’m afraid that many who want to spread the Gospel have not been truly taught how to be a disciple.

Here is my simply outline for church growth:

  • Grow the body of believers with the preaching of the whole council of God.
  • Encourage the body of believers in God’s grace and patiently teach them the doctrines of the faith.
  • Enable the body of believers with the Gospel by teaching them how to witness and live Godly lives that reflect the power of God in this lost world.
  • Take time with each person by addressing their questions and concerns.
  • Lead them by example.

In the above examples, I’m giving an outline to make disciples out of people to teach them how to “cast their nets” and spread the Gospel(Matthew 4:19).

What is the fading art of discipleship? What do I mean when I make this statement

When we build up the body of Christ by empowering them with the Word of God, then the power of the Gospel is truly seen when they go out into the world to witness the good news of Jesus Christ. When we rely upon the Gospel and truly disciple our fellow believers, then the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to convict and draw people to our church. This method was used in the Bible and it is the only method that works because it is by the preaching of the Gospel that mankind is saved.

I fear that too many times we worry about how we can bring people to Christ when the answer is in the Bible that we are holding in our hands. I think instead of brainstorming about how to use relevance/culture to draw people into the church, we should focus more on teaching the children of God about our Christian culture. I think we should drop all the book studies etc. and dig deep into the Bible. I believe if we simply follow the Bible’s instructions then we will see true growth as Christians mature. We will witness the power of the Gospel as it reveals itself in their lives as they grow in Christ. I know that life changes  happen and these types of changes can be seen in almost every religion, but the difference is only the Gospel can truly change the heart of mankind. It is the power of God that we are a new creation and are born again. It’s by the preaching and spreading of the Gospel that the real only lasting power of life change happens and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let’s get back to discipleship first and focus on building up the church using only the Word of God. I would love to hear more about door to door witnessing  from the true church instead of 95% of the time when a missionary knocks on my door it is a Mormon or Jehovah Witness. As we ponder and brainstorm how to reach modern people with culture/relevance, cults like the Mormons and Jehovah Witness are tearing the streets up using an example laid out in the Word of God. These cultist know their doctrines and why, they are very good at what they do. How well do you know your faith, your doctrines, and can you back them up with the Scriptures when questioned? I don’t know about you, but it seems the Mormons and Jehovah Witness cults have one up on us in the department of discipleship. We have the truth and we need to put that truth into full practice.

Want to see real change? Then build up disciples and feed them only on the Word of God. Teach them to study, to pray, to be mindful of the Holy Spirit, lead by example, and do all in your power to help them when they are in need. In America and around the world, we need disciples who will take the Gospel out to the  highways and hedges compelling mankind to repent by spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If we promote volunteering for the church as discipleship, then we are putting the carriage in front of the horse. Discipleship is simply setting under a godly elder who nurtures us as we are taught the deeper truths of our faith. Basically we are taught how to use the armor of God and how to correctly wield the sword of the Lord which is the Word of the Most High.

I pastor friend once told me, “If you bring them in on entertainment, then you’ve got to keep them entertained. If you bring them in on the Gospel, then all you need to do is feed them with it.”

Advertisements

A seeker-sensitive life coach pastor is the ultimate cheerleader when it comes to uplifting those who promote his vision. He is there to push his people to volunteer, to invite people to church, and to encourage his people to be positive. He is there as the supreme spiritual leader and the example for his people to follow. He boasts constantly about the great works of his church and how lives are being changed; this is done as verbal rewards to those who faithfully $buy$ into his vision. He is completely sold out to make his vision a reality and eagerly thanks all those who have made it possible. As long as he is not questioned, he is the most positive man in the church.

When asked to use the Scriptures in context(2 Timothy 2:15) to backup his vision and methods(Acts 17:11), this same man who is so upbeat and willing to take extreme measures to reach the lost, will transform into the world’s biggest detractor of the very Word of God he proclaims to preach.

I figured it was about time to share some of the comments I receive from those in the seeker-sensitive movement. I just picked a few to share out of the hundreds I’ve received this year.

Defending Furtick:

This is a disgrace. Nobody agrees with you, at all. Pastor Furtick is serving God and doing what God has called him to do. He is changing lives because of what God is doing through him and Elevation Church. Its not a competition at all. He is a man of God, something you OBVIOUSLY are not. I’m disgusted by you, whoever you are. Find something else to do with your time, maybe pray to God for forgiveness first. It’s a good thing your video doesn’t have an affect on any of us except disappointment!

You idiot. Get a hobby

I’m just honestly disgusted by the comments left here. @buzzbbird I’m so glad that you just blatantly condemned and judged a man’s eternal destination based on a video he made that is ALL ABOUT TRYING TO CHANGE THE WORLD for Christ. Ever hear his sermons? (Coming from a Bible Major), All Cross centered, Gospel focused and usually exegetically (look it up) developed. He even did a series on SIN (“Scarecrow in a Mellon Patch”… on Podcast). Or is he condmened for using Podcasts too? 😦

I wouldn’t give a squirt of piss for anything this fundamentalist douche bag has to say.(Directed to me…such a nice person)

this church is the most legit I have ever seen! It is undeniable the work and anointing that is on this church! If you think you are better and more righteous… then go lead 22,000 people to Jesus Christ in 5 years!  Didn’t think so

He left his job, risked his financial wellbeing, and uprroted his family to start elevation church. What have you done for Jesus, lately?

Steven Furtick is an amazing man of God! Have you ever read his book or listened to his sermons? He is filled with the Holy Spirit and NOT a disgrace to God!

 Defending Perry Noble and New$pring Church:

Defending NewSpring:

 bro have you ever even been to newspring in your life? were you at the service where they talked about sexed? and how dare you take scripture out of context to make it fit something  you want.

BAMF means

get off of newsprings case for the little things that dont matter

it means go do what really matters

it says in the bible to go and make disciples of all nations

is that not what we are doing

it does not say in the bible “and the lord god said go and bash other churches, tear down their ideas, and criticize their leaders and motives”

NewSpring is one of the MOST AMAZING Churchs you will ever go ot and if you cant handle the truth and what they preach why do you judge them? All preachers are different and if thats how he gets the word out then let him and you stay out of it. If your so CHRISTIAN Why do you judge people?

It’s sad that we would spend more time judging Men of God based on “traditional” church. The method my change, but Gods work will stay true forever. No one is perfect. So, why don’t we make videos that will bring someone to Christ. Non-Christians see stuff like this and this is why they don’t go to church. Christians shouldn’t be like this. God is the final judge and his judgement is all that matters! God bless. Let’s lift Perry up and let God show him any corrections he needs to make

you people are well on your way to hell! anyboby who has the time to post something like this is gonna get a one way ticket.unless you attend newsprings you wouldnt know anything about it!

Dremias5545 right now I’m praying for you. I pray for God to do a work in your heart. I pray that you would never ever post another video like that (the newspring one) because you are confusing people in their faith with Christ and that is scary place my friend.

watched your video about newspring & how they say every dime goes to missions. You’re an idiot. thx.

you’re ridiculous

dude, you’re videos bashing perry noble are ridiculous. he is not a hireling. he is not greedy. just today he preached a sermon about tithing and offering. the bible makes many references on giving and not just giving anything, but giving your best. perry also went further, even though he was in no way obligated to do so, he stated that he GAVE his best and offerings to the church as well. these “group sessions” that he charges pastors to attend would might be an issue, except for the fact that perry gives ALL of that money to NewSpring. perry has also made $80,000 in the past three years from “outside” speaking, ALL OF WHICH WAS GIVEN TO NEWSPRING. perry is also getting ready to sign his first book deal, and guess where ALL of the profits from that book selling are going to go? you guessed it, its ALL going to newspring. listen man, as long as perry is preaching the word of the lord, giving his ten percent in tithing, AND going above and beyond and giving offerings, it shouldn’t matter how much he makes. children of the lord deserve to be blessed. if GOD wanted, he could take EVERYTHING from perry. when you tithe, you arent giving to the church. you are giving back to Christ through the church.

now with that being said, HOW MUCH DO YOU GIVE? do you give your mandatory ten percent that God has commanded you to give? do you go above that and give offerings? HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU MAKE? if you think that is none of my business, what makes you think that perry’s salary is any of your business? if you aren’t giving your ABSOLUTE BEST to the body of Christ, then you definitely need to spend more time focusing on that rather than creating these videos about how much money perry noble makes. football coaches make more money than perry. come on man…i do realize that there are many pastors who are money hungry, but perry is not one of those men.

Words of warning from seeker-sensitives:

You are not advancing the kingdom, you are dividing it. Please do not post hate speech about a prosperous ministry because you believe “preachers should be poor.” It’s religious thinking, its divisive, and it can send a person teetering on the edge of “do I want to try Jesus or not” to simply say no and move on in their lives continuing in defeat. I challenge you to use your abilities to create video’s and make some that lift of the name of Jesus, and not tear down leaders that are doing something for the kingdom. You cant argue with results. If you disagree with someone, pray for them. Its not your responsibility to be their judge and jury on a public forum like youtube! Thats the worlds mindset! Lets point the splinter so no one see’s our plank. I will pray for you that God softens your heart to the needs of his church and a dying world that needs the gospel preached to them.

Your comment about Perry Noble

Did it ever occur to you that maybe the reason why they charge $100 a person is because the people that attend that conference get materials and resources to use and their own church? About a month ago over 900 people got baptized and during our easter series alone over 1000 peopl accepted christ. We are changing lives…you are trying to ruin them….Plus, read the old testament…prime example of why you wouldn’t want to mess with God’s appointed.

Your videos

Brother,

As I look over your videos, it is clear to me that you either struggle from an enormous amount of jealousy, or you have no biblical understanding. for you to critique Steven Furtick and Perry Noble is kind of like a middle school all star critiquing Michael Jordan. How can you justify posting videos about men when you have no idea what you are talking about? When you have accomplished a fraction of what these men have, you may at least not look quite so ignorant in your zeal. But it will be no more biblical. Oppose those who oppose Christ. Leave other Christians alone.

stop trying to be all formal about everything

in closing

shut up and quit being a pharisee

newspring church member

Turner

see its annoying and unnecessary isnt it?

IT DOESNT SAY THAT SO STOP DOING IT.

I DONT CARE ABOUT YOUR DUMB BLOGS IT IS WRONG TO JUDGE PEOPLE SO STOP.

YOU HYPOCRITE.

What’s really sad is how these people are deceived by Perry Noble and Steven Furtick. The fruits of Noble and Furtick are sour to the core.-David J

Matthew 7:15-18 (NASB)

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.

Ever wonder what gives seeker-sensitive pastors nightmares? The answer is found in:

Acts 17:11 (NIV)

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

This will keep even the most “hip and cool” life coach CEO pastor awake at night! Yes, Acts 17:11 will keep your ever so eager to fleece and beat the sheep pastor up at night. The last thing these relevant life coaches want is for someone to threaten their “divine” vision from God by actually checking God’s Word to see if that “vision”  is true. A Berean is far worse than Freddy Krueger to these guys!

Titus 1:7-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

10 For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

I really wish more Christians would stop and ponder Titus 1:7-16 a little more. If we accept this passage at face value, it’s easy to understand how it upsets the ecumenical “God is love” movement found in many of today’s churches. Discernment ministries are viewed negatively because they are deemed hateful and nonproductive when it comes to reaching the lost. The advice people who downplay biblical discernment generally give is,” Let God be the judge. Judge not! You are causing division! Lost people are watching us fight. You should pray for them in private and God will deal with them.” The problem with this advice is God has already told us in His Word how to deal with false teachers. The idea of calling false teachers out by name from the pulpit/stage makes many people very uncomfortable today. If we look at verse 11, “who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.” then how do we silence a false teacher by being silent? Can we combat errors in silence as we ignore the problem in public?

One important fact we must accept is battling a false teacher is not an easy task. The false teacher is armed with enticing words(Colossians 2:3-5), the ability to ear tickle the masses with what they want to hear(2 Timothy 4:2-4), he/she points out their good works, membership growth, and self esteem as a measure of godliness(2 Timothy 3:1-7), and he/she has the ability to draw upon mankind’s natural enmity for the true Word of God. If we use the un-churched as a measuring stick for how we deal with false teachers, then we have already lost the war before we begin the battle(1 Corinthians 2:12-14).

At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty, but our duty. –C.H. Spurgeon

I found this today. I thought I would share it with my readers:

In recent weeks there has been an upsurge of discussion in regard to the Church Growth, Seeker and Emergent Church movements. Each of these movements, are to varying degrees, contra-biblical. If there is one common denominator in each it is the willful disregard for the biblical mandate to separate and come out from among apostate religions.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17

King James Version (KJV)

 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Among the Growth/Seeker/Emergent movements (such as Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven movement) it seems as if there is almost no mainline denomination, religion or organization to far removed from biblical Christianity to warrant rebuke and separation. The evidence shows that these movements prefer unity with apostasy at the expense of fidelity to God’s mandated course of action found in His Word.

“It has been said of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) that he was the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul. Spurgeon began preaching at the age of 16. At 25 he built London’s famous Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating around 5,000. It was never large enough for the crowds he attracted to hear him preach. Wherever he went in the United Kingdom thousands came to hear from him. The London newspapers reprinted his Sunday sermons, which were read by thousands. Spurgeon published thousands of devotionals, commentaries, poems, tracts, sermons and songs.” (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 55.)

In the Fundamentalist Distinctives thread at Sharper iron I have posted two excerpts from Spurgeon’s article, The Drift of the Times, published in 1888. I think it is befitting to post the article here, in its entirety.

The thrust and force of Spurgeon’s article is as timely today as it was nearly 120 years ago. Because of the insidious spread and attraction of the Growth, Seeker & Emergent movements The Drift of the Times may be more needed and applicable now than when it was originally published.

The Drift of the Times
Sound the Alarm!

Separation Not Alone Our Privilege But Our Duty

As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, “Come ye out from among them.” If I have rejoiced in the loyalty to Christ’s truth which has been shown in other courses of action, yet I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil.

The Brethren in the Middle

The brethren in the middle are the source of this clinging together of discordant elements. These who are for peace at any price, who persuade themselves that there is very little wrong, who care chiefly to maintain existing institutions, these are the good people who induce the weary combatants to repeat the futile attempt at a coalition which, in the nature of things, must break down. If both sides could be unfaithful to conscience, or if the glorious gospel could be thrust altogether out of the question, there might be a league of amity established; but as neither of these things can be, there would seem to be no reason for persevering in the attempt to maintain a confederacy for which there is no justification in fact and from which there can be no worthy result, seeing it does not embody a living truth. A desire for unity is commendable. Blessed are they who can promote it and preserve it! But there are other matters to be considered as well as unity, and sometimes these may even demand the first place.

Separation A Duty

Numbers of good brethren in different ways remain in fellowship with those who are undermining the Gospel; and they talk of their conduct as though it were a loving course of action which the Lord will approve of in the day of His appearing. We cannot understand them. The bounden duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians and yet . . . reject the fundamentals of the Gospel is to come out from among them. . . . Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them but were resolute to deal with them in the name of the Lord, all might come right; but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable.

The Army of Intermediates Should Cease Being Politic

There are now two parties in the religious world, and a great mixed multitude who from various causes decline to be ranked with either of them. In this army of intermediates are many who have no right to be there; but we spare them. The day will come, however, when they will have to reckon with their consciences. When the light is taken out of its place, they may too mourn that they were not willing to trim the lamp nor even to notice that the flame grew dim.

Our present sorrowful protest is not a matter of this man or that, this error or that, but of principle. There is either something essential to a true faith–some truth which is to be believed–or else everything is left to each man’s taste. We believe in the first of these opinions, and hence cannot dream of religious associations with those who might on the second theory be acceptable. Those who are of our mind should, at all costs, act upon it.

Separation, The Only Complete Protest

At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty but our duty. I have raised my protest in the only complete way by coming forth, and I shall be content to abide alone until the day when the Lord shall judge the secrets of all hearts; but it will not seem to me a strange thing if others are found faithful and if others judge that for them also there is no path but that which is painfully apart from the beaten track.(source)

 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (TSSV) Today’s Seeker-Sensitive Version

1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is the only one who can judge us, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

2. preach the gospel; be ready to be relevant to the needs of the un-churched; be excellent in all that you do, uplift each other with life changing events, worship the Lord above all, and do not cause division within the church because of doctrine.

3. For the time will come when they will not serve God; but wanting to cause division, they will rebuke your efforts to reach the world for Christ! They will be critics and lead many to rebuke those who seek to reach the un-churched.

4.They will turn away from our ways to the ways of the Pharisee.

5.But you, volunteer in all things for the church, do not be a critic unless you are in the “inner” circle of the church’s leadership, always tithe, and follow the word of your seeker-sensitive life coach pastor above all because he has been given a vision directly from God.