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August 26, 2005

The Secret of Successful Church Ministry

Is this really gospel?

Most churches fail to make a good impression on visitors because they focus on the wrong things, according to a representative of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.... Visitors decide whether to return [to church] based on such factors as the building’s appearance and the friendliness of greeters, Hammond said.

Forget commitment to justice, mercy and righteousness. Forget the power of the gospel to transform lives. The speaker's main focus (although perhaps not his key message) is that an attractive church campus, friendly greeters, and guest parking is the essence of a good church. The more central point: "we hear the preaching of the Word of God but don't experience it" is interpreted through the grid of a smile from another. Is this what we have reduced the church to? Perhaps this explains the American search for spirituality in places other than the church.

When did the primary determinant of successful church get reduced to the number of bums on a seat on Sunday?

Posted by gary at August 26, 2005 05:03 PM


I had one of those strange, clear moments the other day Gary! And I just couldn't figure out why there is such an emphasis on the number of bums on seats as a signal of success and faithfulness to the gospel of Christ. I mean Jesus fails every aspect of this success test! In the NT where large numbers are quoted it is in the context of either hungry people who went without food or new converts... oh or stonings!

Posted by: Andrew at September 13, 2005 11:35 AM

Interesting perspective on large numbers in the gospels Andrew... It also brings to mind that when the crowds pressed in on Jesus, he tended to slip through them rather than embrace them, fearing their theological and political agenda.

Posted by: gary at September 13, 2005 12:21 PM

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