infomercial evangelism...

Steven Furtick is preaching for 24 straight hours today. Steven Furtick is also "pimping" his new book, Sun Stand Still. This is a new and innovative way to be "audacious" in ministry. To be an "audacious" Christian, we must read his book to ask God to do big things. Is this really the way ministry has turned out to be today? Let me first off be clear, this is not a bash at Pastor Steven Furtick or Elevation Church. This is simply a vocal opinion about how the church has constantly evolved into a mold that is going in a very dangerous direction.

There is a term that is trending in the Christian Evangelical world today called "mega churches". These are churches that average over 5,000 people on a single day or weekend for their services. More and more, people aspire to be the top dog in ministry to get noticed, write books, have cool tweets, awesome blogs that transform lives, and now ministers are taking the road to reach people via facebook, twitter, foursquare and any other media outlet to reach "those who are not in churches".

Through all of this, it seems to me that pastors of these larger churches that are currently on the rise, are trying to sell Christ to people who are looking for the missing link in their lives. I can compare people like Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Ed Young Jr. and more to Billy Mays. Yelling at people and trying to sell a product to people in order to get them to believe or buy into the idea of being a Christian.

The sad fact is, pastors that are walking down this dangerous road are constantly transforming their own image to appear more of a "real person" to the normal, common folk. Today it is skinny jeans, flannel shirts from Buckle, and converse allstar shoes to complete the image of the younger generation.

When I read the same Gospel that the pastors are reading, I see a Jesus that never changed His image to fit the common folk around Him. He constantly preached and built relationships with everyone whom He encountered. I love the story of the Woman at the well. Jesus speaks to a woman who has a lot of problems, but still loves her.

Mega Church senior pastors know some of their congregation. Those who have given them money since the beginning. Where is the relationship building? Where are the changed lives? People are growing in faith, but if Furtick, Noble, Stanley, Giglio, Young and all the others retired from ministry tomorrow, what would happen? Would the church crumble before our very eyes? Would people be seeking Christ in a different way? Or would the church as a whole follow Christ beyond the point that we can ever fathom?

I am not saying that there aren't things right with these churches. The great part is, these pastors can convey the message of Christ in ways that are so creative and innovative, we can take from that and tweak it to our own style of ministry. Each one of us that are believers are in ministry from the day we start believing.

I respect all of the pastors I have mentioned in this blog post. I am trying to call out a new way of ministry that is nothing new. We need to have an unfiltered relationships with all we encounter. We need to love with a love that surpasses everything people can imagine. We need to act and speak the word and actions of Christ to everyone. We must pray continually. We must be joyful in Christ. We must talk with Christ and listen to Him everyday. Our lives must be built on the foundation that Christ changed this world and our lives and through that we can HELP transform others lives.

If we are too focused on trying to sell the product, but don't believe in the product we are selling, are we really that effective of a salesman anyway? Why do we have to try to change something that has been constant for more the 2,000 years? I am no Billy Mays. I can not sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves. What I can do is love those around me and those I encounter. I can speak to them in love and I can my hardest to tell them about the Jesus that saved me from the train wreck my life was headed towards and now I am on the right path. I do not build my life around me. It is not MY legacy I am trying to leave. I am trying to leave a legacy of Christ that fits only His ultimate design for my life. I will never make the Sun Stand Still. Then again, I am not trying to. I am not a disciple of the next infomercial evangelical to come along and have a huge church. I am a disciple of the God Most High. Love God first. Love others as God loves us.

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