People want something that is real. We can never substitute anything in the place of the sufficiency of Christ.
Attraction or Attachment Part II
In my last deposit, we learned that our ultimate goal in being a God-honoring church is not to attract a crowd but attach people to Christ. I might add that a church that is loving, humble, and transparent while preaching and teaching absolute biblical truth makes Jesus very real. When Jesus is made real, your congregation will talk about Him and that in itself will bring people your way. People want something that is real. We can never substitute anything in the place of the sufficiency of Christ.
Let’s do some contrast and comparison. In the attraction model of church growth, we have a tendency to “use our people to build the church.” The goal would be production, the method would be promotion and often the result is frustration.
The attachment model actually uses the church ministry to build the people. The goal then is growth of believers. The method is feeding them with good spiritual food and the end result is joyful believers. Do you see and feel the difference?
Of course, the Bible speaks clearly to all of these issues. Ephesians 4:11, 12 instruct the pastor-teacher to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. “On the job” equipping in a local church is tops. To have people experience growth through hands on relationships brings a real sense of satisfaction to all parties.
Peter is clear about shepherding God’s flock in I Peter 5—with the idea of willing oversight, pure motives, and godly example. After all, Peter was taught by Jesus Himself to “Feed my sheep,” (John 21:15-17).
When considering our models for ministry, and mind you something new is always trending, we must keep in mind that everything we do will be tested by fire.
Paul, the wise master builder, as he calls himself, holds his fellow workers in God to a pretty tight standard. Here’s what he says.
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” (I Corinthians 3:11-13)
You see, when we are interested in size, God is interested in sort. We may be interested in quantity when God is interested in quality. Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “I do not fear the fires of hell, but I do fear the fires of heaven.”
God hates the smell of flesh, but He has saved us to be zealous of good works. Those works that we do according to the Word of God in the will of God, by the power of God, for the glory of God will stand the test of God’s evaluating fire. Everything else will be gone.
For us this should be both sobering and motivating at the same time. Take heart friends; keep planting and watering for God’s glory and trust Him with the increase. Each one of us will receive his own reward according to his own labor.