Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, lately criticized the amusement-driven church and inspired Christians to take part within the Physique of Christ for the needs of discipleship and group — not leisure.
In a sermon delivered Could 12, Chandler shared how, shortly after he started his ministry at The Village Church, his congregation grew from a number of hundred to a number of thousand.
“My ardour has not modified. I don’t need to be a convention speaker. That isn’t what we’re doing,” he mentioned.
“You and I are so overstimulated, you and I are so overwhelmed with fast-paced, energized leisure that we have now developed an actual idealized sense of life with an actual low ache tolerance. The Church herself not is about discipleship, not is about being formed, not is it about being shaped. It’s about being entertained within the gathering.”
Whereas The Village Church continues to develop, the pastor emphasised that his plan is “to not ever develop an area tradition.”
An “area tradition” expects all the pieces to be “put collectively once we arrive,” Chandler defined, including: “That is household. This isn’t displaying up with a swag bag underneath our chair and all the pieces accomplished for us. That is us serving each other that reveals that our private preferences are secondary to the manifold knowledge of God being made seen amongst us.”
“I’m not considering it (area tradition),” he mentioned. “I need to develop collectively and that doesn’t occur by preaching sermons. That occurs once we’re on the bottom collectively.”
“I need to reorient your thoughts round what it means to belong to a church,” he continued, gesturing to his congregation. “It’s not this. That is inhaling, being nourished, in order that we are able to get again out and do the work of ministry.”
Citing Ephesians 3:7-10, Chandler declared, “You’ve gotten been uniquely wired by God and gifted by the Holy Spirit.”
“My job, and the job of vocational ministers, is to not do the work of ministry, however slightly enable you see, spot, be skilled in your giftedness after which unleash that giftedness on the world round us so that you’ve been known as to ministry,” he mentioned.
“We’ve bought all of it backwards. Y’all suppose we have now been known as to ministry and that’s why the manifold knowledge of God isn’t seen globally, as a result of it’s not that The Village Church has 50 ministers, it’s that The Village Church has 6,000 ministers. That’s how the manifold knowledge of God is seen.”
Christians are known as to picture the Creator God wherever they’re, Chandler mentioned, and that begins with the house and office.
“It’s not that you simply’ve bought a job and also you’ve bought a ministry,” he mentioned. “No, your ministry is your job. You may’t separate these out … God’s name in your life is to faithfully work the place you might be doing, doing the work of reconciliation and being an envoy of Christ … the everlasting weight behind all the pieces you’re doing is loopy important.”
Chandler identified that in Acts, Paul warns the Ephesians, “After I depart, savage wolves will are available in amongst you and won’t spare the flock.”
“How do you struggle that? You stroll with each other in group, you encourage each other in your giftedness, and also you embrace that you simply’ve been known as a minister of reconciliation and an envoy of Christ for the build up of the physique,” he mentioned.
Far too many individuals, Chandler warned, have an interest within the extra exterior components of ministry — corresponding to spectacular mild reveals and worship bands — as an alternative of really rising the Kingdom of God.
“In case you identical to what we do, all of it’s on-line totally free,” he emphasised. “Hearken to it on Tuesday and go the place there are fireworks. As a result of I don’t need to flip away individuals who don’t know Jesus in an effort to come and take heed to the music you want, or since you suppose often I’m humorous.”
“I don’t need to not have seats for individuals who say, ‘I need to develop in my reward, I need to know what it’s wish to dwell for Jesus 24/7.’ There’s extra in you than you suppose there’s. That’s one in every of my favourite issues as a pastor, is watching that come alive.”
A Fuller Youth Institute examine of 250 congregations discovered that youth and younger adults need substance slightly than model, hip pastors, or massive budgets.
Pastors and church leaders have lengthy warned of the hazards of the leisure and amusement-driven church.
Throughout a sermon delivered on the Nationwide Non secular Broadcasters’ Worldwide Christian Media Conference, H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, mentioned that the biblical instruction to “rejoice with trembling” in Psalm 2 is “one of the succinct definitions of worship in Scripture.”
“Once we worship God collectively, it shouldn’t be like a funeral or sitting within the physician’s workplace or being caught in visitors. We should always rejoice,” he mentioned.
“As we rejoice, our worship shouldn’t be an emotional response to man-centered leisure masquerading as worship. As we rejoice, we should always acknowledge the holiness and the sovereignty and the majesty of Almighty God.”