Bigger Buildings, Less Converts

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV

Many are so enticed with an emotion-driven faith. They desire to have their passions and fleshly motives accepted by anyone who will listen. If a true preacher preaches against sin, and that person is not a seeker of Truth, they will simply go find another church. Why? To put their mind at ease.

The day that was once spoken of is the day that has come. Though darkness and deception will continually increase, we are seeing the spirit of lawlessness flood this earth. Many are so enticed with an emotion-driven faith. They desire to have their passions and fleshly motives accepted by anyone who will listen. If a true preacher preaches against sin, and that person is not a seeker of Truth, they will simply go find another church. Why? To put their mind at ease. For they are not living for Eternity, but are living for this world.

We have never had more money in the church than now. Yet, we have never been more lethargic and dead.

In our day, one of the problems that continues to become evident is the process by which we try to bring people to church. We have never had more money in the church than now. Yet, we have never been more lethargic and dead. For our eyes are focused on bigger buildings and better entertainment.

It is sad that in today's society we count the pews filled instead of souls saved.

Bigger buildings and congregations do not always equal more salvations; especially when the entirety of Truth is not presented. Sadly, instead of counting the souls saved, we count the pews that are filled. We want to continually grow, building satellite churches as ends, rather than means. We want our church to be up-to-date with the latest worldly trends. We seek to have certain light fixtures. We need gaming systems for the kids. Our motives are in every way carnal as we pursue the way of entertainment.

Without many (if any) resources, the early Church Disciples and Apostles started a movement that echoed into today! They led many to the Lord, while leading themselves to their own death.

If we look at how the church started, we will quickly find that it did not have many (if any) resources. They didn’t have stately buildings, nor did they wear the latest clothes. They didn’t entice people by way of videos and seek to hire a smooth talker. They simply came as they were and spoke the Truth. Through this, they started a movement that echoed into today! They led many to the Lord, while leading themselves to their own death. For persecution led the Disciples and early Apostles to be crucified upside down, stoned, have their heads cut off, and the like.


These were men of like passion that were not concerned about creative schemes to entice the sinner to stay in the church unconverted. These were men who were driven by the Holy Spirit and desired that the Grace and Mercy of God would cover the hearts and souls of unbelievers. Their authenticity reigned in their hearts and words of boldness, love, and truth came forth. They proclaimed that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6).

The early church did not need to entertain crowds. They did not need big buildings. All they needed was to be Spirit-filled men who solely trusted and relied on the Lord that His will would be done through their efforts.

They did not need to entertain crowds. They did not need big buildings. All they needed was to be Spirit-filled men who solely trusted and relied on the Lord that His will would be done through their efforts. So long as they acted out of love and desired to see others saved, God would handle the rest.

If the church today returned to the productivity and realness of back then, we would see a mighty move of the Spirit.

If the church today returned to the productivity and realness of back then, we would see a mighty move of the Spirit. Sadly, however, we have kicked the Spirit out of many churches. When men choose to move agendas by way of strategies, marketing, and mechanisms, the Spirit is nowhere to be found. Not that the former is bad, but that it comes first and ahead of trusting God.

When men choose to move agendas by way of strategies, marketing, and mechanisms, the Spirit is nowhere to be found. Not that the former is bad, but that it comes first and ahead of trusting God.

While the Spirit is speaking, He simply becomes suppressed because “we don’t have time.” We don’t have time to pray. We don’t have time to seek the face of God. We don’t have time to sit still and hear what the Holy Spirit desires for us to do. We want things done our way, on our time, and by way of our own methodologies, mechanisms, and means.


This results in us taking the credit for success. Eventually, we forget why we first started. For the desire to be big and great in this life makes us low in the next. As we operate based upon our decisions and take full credit, God is no longer glorified. This, then, results in good-looking staff, big buildings, and the latest technology, but spiritual death.

“If you attract carnal men by worldly means, you have to keep carnal men by worldly means.” Paul Washer

Paul Washer once said, “if you attract carnal men by worldly means, you have to keep carnal men by worldly means.” If we are so caught up in worldly ways by which we bring people to church, we are going to have to keep those people by way of worldly means. If ever the entire Truth were presented, ninety-five percent of people would leave.


What then will God have to say to us, if we simply set people’s minds at ease while they continue to die a slow death? For all of us are sinners (Romans 5:8). None is better than the other man. It just takes humility to accept the Truth of God and His Word. That is why Scripture says, “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4 ESV).

The reward for genuine faith is found in humility and fear of the Lord. It is not found in attending church every Sunday. It is not found in praying the sinner’s prayer one time and having an unchanged lifestyle.

The reward for genuine faith is found in humility and fear of the Lord. It is not found in attending church every Sunday. It is not found in praying the sinner’s prayer one time and having an unchanged lifestyle. It is found in Christ’s words: ““If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”” (Matthew 16:24-25 ESV).

The church is not a building, but a body of born again believers.

May we focus on what truly matters. May we stop competing with each other and desiring to be “the best church.” For the church is not a building, but a body of born again believers. All are welcome to enter in, but each of us must humble ourselves (Matthew 16:24), believe Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior (John 3:16), and repent of our sins (2 Peter 3:9).

We must get back to the relational aspect of the faith and not allow ourselves to be enticed by entertainment as an end. We need to see each living human being as a soul that is on their way to Heaven or Hell. Only Christ saves (which He desires to do so).

Let us get back to the relational aspect of the faith and not allow ourselves to be enticed by entertainment as an end. We need to see each living human being as a soul that is on their way to Heaven or Hell. Only Christ saves (which He desires to do so). May we not become distracted in this life and have their blood on our hands in the next. We must be diligent in presenting the full Truth in love. We must reveal the Good News that Christ died for sinners, of whom we are the worst. For if Christ saved us, then He most certainly desires to save others.


May mechanisms be a last resort means. May conversion be the emphasis as we are drawn to our knees. May all come to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


PRAYER


Heavenly Father, You are beyond all that is and will be. You transcend all that we know and will come to know. Lord, forgive us of our idolatry of entertainment. Forgive us of focusing on the wrong things. Lord, as church buildings are filled, souls are perishing. As we plan the next five moves to simply get more people in the door, people are dying for a lack of knowledge. Lord, open the window of every soul to see Your Truth. Lord, fill them with Your breath. Breathe into them the Truth of Your Word, that they may come to know You in full Light. May all be saved not by means of entertainment, but through bold proclamation of Truth in love. Renew our hearts to trust and obey You, for You desire mercy and give grace. Restore us once again to seeing people as souls, not merely bodies that go in and out of buildings. Lord, get our eyes off of worldly means. Draw us to our knees and reveal to us what must be prayed for and who must be prayed for. May Your will be done, forever and always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Lance VanTine

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