Grow your church quick: just another get rich quick scheme

We see them everyday. Signs, ads, commercials for stuff that is too good to be true. The majority of scams and schemes out there tell you they can make you an over night success. Many people believe these infomercials, emails, and websites, because they desire so badly to get rich quick. Others usually refer to these people ignorant, foolish, simple-minded, etc. Here are a few verses dealing with obtaining wealth.

Proverbs 23:4
Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.

Proverbs 28:19-20
He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.

Proverbs 14:15
The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps.

Now back to my title. What does this have to do with church? I believe the great majority of church leaders and pastors are falling for a spiritual version of the get rich quick scheme: grow you church quick. We watch videos about huge mega churches building new campuses and begin to desire to see our ministry do the same. We start reading about what other churches have done, and attempt to mimic their “success.” Millions of dollars are spent every year on book, conferences, resources, etc to show us how to grow our churches quickly. Don’t misunderstand me here, I am all for books, conferences and bettering ourselves and our ministries, but I am afraid many are walking away convinced success, growth, increase, can be built up in a year. Am i saying God can’t grow your church? No. Am I saying God doesn’t want to increase the kingdom? No. I am saying if we aren’t careful we’ll get so caught up in the “stuff” that goes along with growth, we’ll start chasing growth, buildings, success, and everything else except the main thing: growing the kingdom. Here’s my point: when a person starts trusting a scam, they start making poor decisions. When we as leaders start trusting in programs, ideas, processes instead of the power of the Holy Spirit, we will start making unwise decisions.

What is the goal? To grow the Kingdom? Let’s ask a tough question. For the kingdom to grow does your church have to have a 5 million dollar sanctuary? Or could your church send 100 missionaries and 5 million dollars around the world and do more for the kingdom? Kingdom mindedness takes the emphasis, glory, pride, possessions, away from us.

The sobering truth is this: anything worthwhile, takes a while. Apple, Microsoft, GE, Toyota, and Walmart didn’t become huge companies in one year, it took real hard work over a long period of time (sometimes generations). The hard truth is: impact takes time. People who want to get rich quick are always changing their minds. One day they want to start a business, the next they want to invest in a penny stock. They don’t stay focused on one thing long enough for it to work out for them. Many churches are acting the same way. One year the push is Upward sports, until it gets tough to find workers and growth didn’t happen as quickly as they’d hoped. The next year their main push is starting a new ministry (a new banner and cool name is all you need right?). The following year they quit that and start a TV ministry, but as that gets expensive and again nothing happens immediately, so they bail on it too. Ministry shouldn’t be a multiple personality disorder. It only shows our weakness for desiring quick easy success. There is nothing wrong with trying new things, but our generation is so addicted to instant gratification that we simply aren’t willing to wait on God to move and grow His church. We feel we must DO something NOW.  Our mission should remain unchanged as we use new methods over the long haul to grow the kingdom of God. Besides Jesus said He would build His church, so why do we exhaust ourselves attempting to do what only He can do?

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turning a funeral home into a church

A while back we had our first service in the new building. 92 people gathered at 2460 Pruden Boulevard for our first ever Sunday morning service in the building. The last few weeks have been busy. We spent a lot of time building, painting, hanging drywall, installing new electrical, etc. That day it all came together and it looked great. I got to thinking, there are a lot of churches looking for a place to meet, so here are some ideas we’ve run across recently:

Funeral Homes

Movie Theaters

Rec Centers

Schools

Local bowling alleys

College auditoriums

Skating rinks

Convetion Centers

Hotels

Here are some pictures of the process of turning the funeral home into a church.

Why I love kid’s ministry

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When I was in college I had a real fear of speaking to children under the age of 10. A large part of my ministry at CrossPointe is teaching kids of every age. Speaking to Teens and Adults has always been relatively comfortable to me, but speaking to little ones presented a unique challenge that I didn’t want to tackle. I had to learn to let go. I had to learn to get out of my confort zone. To really communicate with kids I can’t be concerned with how I look or sound. To be honest I know for a fact I look really silly when I am teaching the kids sometimes. However, that is when I really connect with the kids. The kids aren’t impressed with a college degree, alliterated points, perfectly timed transitions, etc. Actually the kids love silly little illustrations about my dog Griffin.

I love that every Sunday morning I get to worship with kids who enjoy real worship, enjoy having a good time learning about God, and enjoy allowing Jesus to change their hearts. Shouldn’t we as Christians have the faith of a child? I believe we should have the faith of a child, as well as the joy kids seem to hold on to through the toughest of situations. Just a random thought after a long rewarding day in kid’s ministry.

grieve with hope

A few days ago a family in our church got some terrible news. Danielle and Greg have been at our church since just about the beginning. They have three young boys who love coming to church. However, monday Danielle’s mom and step-father were in a terrible car accident. Her mother passed away and her step-father is in critical condition. This is especially hard because Danielle lost her dad just over a year ago. The family is grieving, but the silver lining is Danielle’s mom was a believer. As difficult as death is, knowing we will see the person again gives us a unique hope. I heard a young widow remark once that as christians we can “grieve with hope.”

I must admit that grieving is always difficult for me, but knowing the one we lost is in heaven gives us a hope unlike any other. I hope you will pray for the Gidding family. Pray for the Danielle and Greg as well as the boys. We are so thankful that Danielle’s mom was a believer, but we know these are going to be very difficult days. Please pray for Danielle’s brother who is not a believer. We are praying that God soften his heart. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

8 People saved since September

The last few weeks have been great. God has allowed us to see alot of people we’ve been praying for make decisions for Christ. It’s interesting that many times the people who get saved are there as a result of a friend or family member inviting them, as well as witnessing to them. Often we spend our time trying to reach strangers (which we are obligated to do), and overlook those closest to us. Please pray for the many close relationships we have here in Suffolk who need Jesus. There are many people close to us who need us to take that first step and introduce them to Jesus. The truth is it’s usually easier to tell a stranger than to tell someone close. I struggle with confidence all the time when trying to talk about Jesus. But we need to place our confidence in WHO we are talking about, not who is talking.

Praying we see many more decisions,

thanks again for all your prayers and support,

Marc & Casie