Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Feeding the Machine

One of the dangers in any organization is that it can make perpetuating the organization more important than achieving the goals for which the organization was created. The organizations that represent the Christian church in the world are no exception. (The church, being not itself an organization, but the assembly of all true believers.) The purpose of the church is to lead people to faith in Christ and build them up in that faith (Ephesians 4:11-16; Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Peter 5:1-4). The result of this should be the genuine faith (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9) and changed lives of its people (Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18). The organizations that are reflections of the church should serve this purpose. But too often these organizations can seek to perpetuate themselves and concentrate on encouraging large attendance, huge budgets, commodious buildings, and entertaining programs in order to do so. Now we need to be clear that there is often a thin line here. Large attendance can mean many people being introduced to and growing in Christ. Huge budgets can be used to do much good in the world. Commodious buildings can be places to fulfill God's purposes. Entertaining programs can be used to communicate God's message. But it is very easy to convince ourselves this is happening when all we are really doing is furthering the organization. So we need to ask ourselves, what are we really doing? And we need to ask if we are furthering God's people and His kingdom or building a monument to ourselves.

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