"WE WANT TO FILL DOLPHIN STADIUM"
Can you imagine a church sooooo big that you would need to have a professional football stadium to hold your church services ? I heard a preacher say that one Sunday morning.
WOW ! Imagine that. You almost get giddy thinking about that.
For so long people have just been coming to church totally bored out of their minds. No wonder why people just kind of fade away, never to return again. There are so many other things out there competing for their attention that we have GOT to figure out a way to get MORE people into the door of the church.
We've got to find ways to bring more people into the church... gotta get those numbers up. I mean we've got to do WHATEVER IT TAKES.
I guess the next question would be... How do we do this ? How do we fill Dolphin stadium ?
Let's see what technique the apostle Paul used in the New Testament to grow the church, because after all we can't imagine the church today using a method which is not found in the bible.
1 Cor. 2:1-5:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Oh, wait...the techniques Paul used were weakness, fear, trembling.
What about Jesus Christ and him crucified ? Yeah that's going to get a lot of people in the door. Somebody should have told Paul about seeker sensitive.
What about the techniques Paul did NOT use–He did not use eloquence or superior wisdom (except maybe the wisdom that comes from knowing about Christ crucified).
What else did he not use–he did not use wise words or persuasive words. Gosh that is so not post-modern or intellectual.
Oh boy lookie here, Paul says that his PREACHING was with a demonstration of the Spirit's power. Why would he use such a method ? Oh yes the answer's right there...so that the christian's faith might not rest on MEN'S wisdom but on God's power.
I guess after all Paul did not actually use ANY techniques, methods or experiments. He allowed the Holy Spirit to do the work. All that Paul did was to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified.
So go ahead pastors and keep coming up with new techniques, new methods and the latest trends to try to get those numbers up but when your congregations rely on your wisdom instead of God's power don't complain about spiritual immaturity, shallow superficiality and doctrinal ignorance rampant among your church members. They're getting what they're being fed.
If God decides to increase the church enough to fill up a professional football stadium or not makes no difference. That should not be our goal. That is His decision to make. Our responsibility is to be guided by his Word in obedience and rely upon His methods which are to trust his Holy Spirit for the increase if He desires to do so. Our goal should be to pursue holiness through the process of santification surrendering each day to His guidance and direction as found through his holy Word.
If your church has the philosophy of "do whatever it takes" I hope that does not include neglecting the Word of God.