It seems apparent to many people today that the church has taken on a business like attitude. I cannot agree more with that assessment. So, if they are a business, what are they in the business of? That is a great question for each of us to ask ourselves as we reflect on the religious landscape that we find ourselves on. Maybe each religious organization is in the business of something different…like salvation numbers, butts in the seats, dollars in giving, church plants, amount of people on staff, or how many people are helped. I’m sure most churches have a business model or systematic process that they have embraced and are charging full force to achieve it. But is this good?However, or whatever is being done, I think we need to be careful that we are not out to “make a name for ourselves”. One thing the organized church does very well is use the good deeds of others and parade them in front of the world. They drag people up on stage on Sunday mornings and show off the success of individuals as if they are saying, “look who we are apart of….we are doing things right.” If the heart of pastors and church leaders are to become successful in the eyes of their constituents, then I believe that heart attitude is going down the wrong path. A path that teaches those they are in front of that showing off, bragging, and achieving is how we fit in at these organizations and it can only lead to a works mentality. This mentality is like a cancer in the churches today. A cancer that causes church leadership to fight for preservation and relevancy. A cancer that uses manipulation and control. A cancer that causes pastors to flock to celebrities, millionaires, or to become one themselves. If a name is not made, then they feel as if success has been avoided and failure has set in. With out a doubt, the fight to be a relevant business in this world has infiltrated the Body of Christ.
This is why churches are run like businesses and feel the need to put out numbers to survive or to make a name for themselves. The attitude is, “People need to see that we are serious if they are going to take us seriously.” However, wouldn’t it be nice if numbers didn’t matter? Or wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t need to achieve anything to fit in? Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to clock in at church or have a “name” to be deemed as successful in the worldly church? The worldly system that opposes the Kingdom of God looks to be relevant, successful, and rich. There is something about the words of Christ when He said,
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues (churches) and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
I made the note next to synagogues…it could mean churches today. Very telling words from Christ Himself. However, these words do not help organized churches build names for themselves….they just seem to get in the way of building these towers of Babel (you know…multi-million dollar buildings and property). It would seem that a group of believers would further the Kingdom of God in humility with no desire to be known or recognized. Otherwise, have not those who boast already received their reward here on earth?