Pastors, Let Us Be Terrified of Pride

Pastors have been taught by the Evangelical Industrial Complex that big equals healthy. And these outward trappings of success become kindling for the pastors’ pride.

Numeric growth is much more fun than numeric decline. I know. I’ve experienced both. But let us never confuse numeric growth with health. Certainly there are times when the growth of a church indicates health. But there are plenty of false teachers who preside over massive churches. There are also pastors who love and lead God’s people faithfully who will never headline a conference because their church isn’t big enough.

 

“You didn’t build that.”

Those rather infamous words, some of you will remember, were spoken by our President to business owners about their businesses. And while those words are terribly misguided when applied to business owners they need to ring in the ears of every pastor who has ever experienced anything that could be construed as success.

Numeric growth is much more fun than numeric decline. I know. I’ve experienced both. But let us never confuse numeric growth with health. Certainly there are times when the growth of a church indicates health. But there are plenty of false teachers who preside over massive churches. There are also pastors who love and lead God’s people faithfully who will never headline a conference because their church isn’t big enough.

Pastors have been taught by the Evangelical Industrial Complex that big equals healthy. And these outward trappings of success become kindling for the pastors’ pride.

Exhibit A
Once you wade through all the posturing and boasting coming from MacDonald and Driscoll (Man, I admire Mark Dever’s patience!) you can’t miss the conclusion that what animates these men is the size of their churches. “All challenges are laid waste in the stunning light of my church’s attendance!” Of course the facts have a way of debunking the hype. In mere weeks after Driscoll’s resignation from Mars Hill the whole thing imploded. Remember this pastor: if the church you serve is, practically speaking, “your church” then it will fold when you are gone.

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