There is a movement in America. A movement of assumption that could possibly lead others unnecessarily to a critical mind. It's assumption that feeds cynicism.
Assumption can lead both the writer of these blogs and the reader to a overly critical place, a place that could focus people on the wrong things. The blog I am going to respond to although this is very rare for me to do is The Most Important Thing Your Church Is Probably Missing.
It is the word "probably" that gets me. I can't even bring myself to agree with the truthfulness of this title. Within this title is a huge assumption. The author assumes that everyone reading this blog has a church that has a pastor that is idolizing ministry. It is the blanket assumption that gets to me.
Does this author really believe he understands the heart and internal processes of every pastor of every person that reads this post? This title could produce more than just assumption. It could produce fear, cynicism, doubt, and critical hearts towards the very thing Jesus Himself loves most, His Bride, The Church. I do not disagree that there could be an unhealthy focus on unhealthy things by some who lead, most likely there are "some". But its definitely "probably" not all. Even the Apostle Paul corrected people in the New Testament that were in error. But his letters were sent directly to the offending parties. Not blanket statements to churchgoers. He never said, "Church at Ephesus, guess what your pastor is probably doing in secret that is not of God?" He would have never employed these tactics because of the repercussions those assumptions would have on the trust of the people toward their leaders. We need to be careful.
No! He dealt with specific moments of correction. With things that were in full view. The statements of assumption, hijack our emotions towards the one that statement was made toward. I would love to see the blog title say, "Things We As The Church Should Be Passionate About." And then post Biblical things and encourage. This would be much more effective in rallying people instead of possibly giving them a moment to embrace offense for no reason, especially if their pastor is on the right track.
I believe in sending, I was sent to launch a church, my pastor was sent to launch his church before me. But we would have never been sent to affect others if we had not been affected first.
Luke 11:23 "...whoever does not gather with Me scatters."
Gathering is a huge part of what we do. Jesus gathered His disciples before He sent, the disciples gathered to pray and receive the Holy Spirit before they went out with power to be witnesses. Gathering is a part of the plan.
While I agree we should NEVER idolize ministry, our job is to work together. We are part of a body with different functions. Not all will be missionaries to India. While I agree with the basic principle that sending is the pinnacle of having discipled someone, you will never disciple someone if you do not reach them.
One of my greatest desires is to see us champion the Church at large, not label Her unnecessarily. Correct where you need to correct, but biblically, to the people that need corrected, but not using the word "probably".
That means you need to know for sure the heart and motive of the people you are talking to. I agree wholeheartedly on sending and going out, that is for sure. I agree with releasing idolatry, for sure. However, I am pleading that we stop using catchy blog titles in order to get people to click that could engender doubt, cynicism, and critical hearts unnecessarily into the minds and hearts of the Church at large.
Pastor Joel Brown