Tuesday, April 12, 2011

99-1 Principle

Today I was asked, "Why are there so many different churches?"

My reply, "Because the churches are building their kingdoms instead of God's"

My thought is foundationally (I don't want to use the word fundamentally) all true Christian churches believe in the same crucial theology and that being Jesus Christ is the Son of God and paid our debt of sin so we can have a relationship with God. Simply put that is the only thing that matters.

I feel that we (mankind) want church done our way so we seek out churches that fit us. If a church moves more in the Holy Spirit than what makes a person comfortable they go somewhere else. If the music isn't as sacred they go somewhere where it is. If the pastor is too boisterous they look for a more reserved reverend. These are bad things but if we get to comfortable anywhere we risk being ineffective.

Pleasing parishioners has been a big focus in the church. I remember in Bible college hearing what I'd call sound advice at the time that, "Many people aren't willing to change. So you have to take it slow or you'll risk people leaving." I made this mistake at the first church I pastored. The people wanted and knew change needed to happen. They weren't sure where to start. I had an idea but in my compassion for them I brought some change about very slowly. Not willing to completely raddle their chains and take off running.  I wasn't trying to build my kingdom and I know the people weren't wanting their kingdom established so out of mutual consideration we journeyed slowly.

That advice while good is deathly. It can cause a church to become stagnant and lifeless.

I'm about the 99-1 PRINCIPLE. The 99-1 Principle is based from Jesus' Parable of the Lost Sheep. The Shepherd leaves 99 sheep to look for the 1 that is missing. See the 99 are where they should be. So there is isn't a concern for they're comfort, joy, or security. But the missing 1 is gone out of the view of the shepherd. The 99 are ok (at least for now) so the one that needs to have the focus of the shepherd is the 1 missing. I've got to be more concerned about those I'm trying to reach on the streets than with those filling the seats.

So if people leave a church because I am unwilling to cater to them by all means they can get their grub on somewhere else.

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