“How to Fill Up Your Church”



“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Genesis 6:6

Just when I thought I had seen it all, I should have known better. There is never an end to how we humans must grieve God’s heart, is there? Oh, if only we could say it’s only the unbelievers, those who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who offend the Lord. But oh, how grievous that so many of us who profess to know the Lord are running around our lives doing stuff that I can only imagine must make God shed tears like rain from heaven. Myself included. Are any of us as fallible humans, as God’s imperfect Creation, ever immune from hurting God while we reside on this earth, no matter how much we intend to live our lives to please Him? No, we all fall short of His glory (Rom. 3:23). But some are willing to receive His correction and to learn to walk in His ways while others simply go about their business and don’t seem to care about hurting God. Is not one of the greatest grievances how so many of us approach Christianity like a marketplace with a business mentality, sucked in by consumerism, commercialism, corporate ladders, business plans, fundraising initiatives, long-range plans, short-range plans, mid-year plans, resolutions, manuals, etc.? Oh, sad was my heart one day when I came across an ad on the Internet inviting people to click on the button so they could learn how to “fill up” their churches on Easter. Can you imagine? Are you surprised?

I shouldn’t have been. Just days before, I had visited a church where the pastor spent his preaching time discussing the multiple specialty businesses the church leadership had hired to work on the church as though it were a typical business in America’s marketplace, all the millions of dollars involved in planning, organizing, and growing it all, and oh, well, the truth is instead of weeping I walked out. What do you suppose Jesus might say about how to fill your church on Easter? Perhaps that it is not our church to begin with. We call buildings churches. The real church is the universal body of all those who repent and devote their lives to God through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. I have never seen a word in the Bible about God calling His people to dedicate their lives to filling up pews in a zillion dollar building nor to approaching Christianity, churches, and ministries with a business mentality. Christ followers are commanded to love God with all our hearts, to love others, and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help build His forever Kingdom. If we get busy doing what we’re commanded to do, perhaps we’ll have less time to do what surely grieves God. I have fallen grievously far short in ministry, and God is ever correcting and growing me. May we all yield to His conviction, correction, and refining, and live to love, worship, and serve Him forever!

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