Monday, January 11, 2010

"Supernatural Church"

“I bet you’d agree that a group of talented, charismatic leaders can draw a crowd. Find the right creative team, musicians and speakers, and you can grow any church. It doesn’t even have to be a Christian church. The fact is that without making a conscious choice to depend on the Holy Spirit, we can to a lot. (Although, without the Spirit, we wouldn’t actually be drawing our next breath – but I am talking about cognizant and intentional dependence on our part.) My point is that a growing and energetic gathering is not necessarily evidence of the Spirit’s work.”

“…We’ve created a whole brand of churches that do not depend on the Spirit, a whole culture of Christians who are not disciples, and new group of ‘followers’ who do not follow.

“If all God asked for were faceless numbers to fill the churches, then we would be doing all right. Most of us would feel pretty confident. But simply having a good speaker, a service that is short and engaging, a good venue, and whatever else we add to the mix does not make a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ church. God intended for His bride, those who claim His name, to be much more than this.

“God is not interested in numbers. He cares most about the faithfulness, not the size, of His bride. He cares about whether people are lovers of Him. And while I might be able to get people in the doors of a church or auditorium if I tell enough jokes or use enough visuals, the fact remains that I cannot convince people to be obsessed with Jesus.

“Perhaps I can talk people into praying a prayer, but I cannot talk anyone into falling in love with Christ. I cannot make someone understand and accept the gift of grace. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. So by every measure that actually counts, I need the Holy Spirit. Desperately.”

-- Francis Chan, from the chapter “Supernatural Church” in his book, The Forgotten God (David C. Cook; pp. 141,143)

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