I have driven all over the USA in the short time (2 years) I had been an over the road truck driver – small towns, big cities, North, South, East and West – and there is something that I have noticed, and it is bothering me to the core. The Lord has put this situation on my heart – and I believe it is part of my message – Just how many churches do we need??
In the southeast – there are beautiful towns… Small towns, with southern hospitality, where the people still say “God Bless you” – but there are also times when I see five, six or EVEN SEVEN churches within two or three miles of each other.. Now what, pray tell is this? Is it, my friend, that there are just an abundance of people who appear in this town of 500 people on Sunday, that they need the extra room? NO! I have seen 4 Baptist churches, (Southern, Bible, Independent, Free Will, Missionary, Free Will Independent, Missionary Bible, ETC ETC) all on the SAME STREET!
Now – my reader, I understand that this is wwhere the ‘great’ doctrinal differences between “sects” comes into the picture – however, I have a proposal – How about, we FIX the problem in the churches that have them, instead of further dividing our resources in “planting” another church nearby?? You may say – “Oh no preacher! we can’t do that!” I would contend that we indeed could – and SHOULD! The gospel – the TRUE gospel is short and sweet – (1 Corinthians 15) and SIMPLE! There are churches almost at WAR with one another because they disagree on what the Bride of Christ means – or whether or not divorce is allowed, or some other gnat that they choose to strain at… Meanwhile? The world is headed straight for the pits of hell – and no one is paying attention!
Is it possible, that these ‘church planters’ who take a course in “Bible College” are running around looking for their own little empire? I would have to say this is a definite possibility sadly. To some, the office of ‘Pastor’ is seen as some symbol of authority and might within Christianity – and I would say that this is backwards! While the goal of the pastor is to indeed teach and guide the church, he (YES I said HE) is to also be the SERVANT of the church. I have met pastors who ‘lord’ over the flock – and I would say that this is not the method to which the pastor is called.
I wonder – I truly wonder, just how many of the people who are called to preach are truly to be evangelists? The evangelist is somewhat of a vacant position it would seem in the church community.. Revivals are now preached by pastors of other churches, and some churches have 3 or 4 pastors… Yet who, pray tell, is traveling from church to church, lighting a fire under complacent congregations, shaking up the fold so the pastor can lead them out of their complacency? No one! What happens when the pastor attempts to break through the complacent wall? Church splits! Why? Because that is the job of the evangelist! to essentially step into the church – and break up all the gunk that is built up around the pews!
Now, another group will tell me.. No.. Evangelism is the planting of churches.. To this, I would ask you to explain that to Billy Sunday, D.L. Moody, R.A. Torrey and other great evangelists of times past who, yes may have started a church, but they did not rest their entire ministry on starting new churches every so often. They went to the wells that were running dry, and broke up the muck clogging the lines. Oh how we need that today!
Now, I’m not telling you that if God is calling you to start a church, that you should ignore that call.. God forbid the calling of the Lord be pushed aside! The question is, however – Is the Lord truly calling you to be a church planter?
How many people choose their calling based on what is popular in the group? What the church wants them to do, vs what GOD wants them to do?
Evangelist Jake Nicholson
Jesus Never Fails
John 1:12 KJV
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: