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Star Power

The contemporary American church wants “star” churches. This is becoming more and more apparent as large churches get larger and smaller churches get smaller. The “religious community” it seems wants to go where there is “star power.” They don’t want to go to a small, quiet, humble, unpretentious, garden variety church where they are conspicuous and might have to work.

I must be careful here to keep from being sarcastic. That won’t help. Nevertheless, being the pastor of a small membership church and praying daily for workers to come and join us in the ministry, I’m put off by “star power.”

We have people come and visit our church and end up going to one of the larger churches in our area. Why? Because they want a full ministry where all their “felt needs” are met. The services and resources are already in place. They don’t need to do anything. It’s easy, and after working all week, they can just come to church and relax, not having to invest themselves in anything.

This attitude is pervasive now, not only among the contemporary religious crowd, but in the American culture across the board. It means several things: 1) the small membership church will disappear; 2) large churches will proliferate with “attenders” who do nothing and finally give nothing; 3) the Christian concept of service will cease; 4) their love will grow cold for one another, and finally 5) the American church will die just like the European church.

Is this picture too negative? Am I being morose? Perhaps, but this much is clearly apparent: the essence of Christianity is “love”…love for God and love for one’s brother…the late Francis Schaeffer made the same observation (The Great Evangelical Disaster). How can you love your brother when you won’t walk with him and serve him? James said it this way: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James. 1.22).

The big buzz for sometime has been “seeker friendly” churches. This paradigm was made famous by Rick Warren and his Saddleback Community Church and Bill Hybels and his Willow Creek Community Church. They went to great lengths to attract church attenders by appealing to their “felt needs.” Well, in the process, they created a lot of carnal Christians, who have never really served those congregations as workers.

We’re not talking about restaurant row here where you choose your favorite place to eat. We’re talking about the church, Christ’s body, His ordained institution designed to train up believers and send them out to evangelize the world.

Therefore, since 80% of American churches are “small.” And since that’s where individuals are needed to serve, shouldn’t we re-think our religious motivations? Shouldn’t we begin to conceive of the church again in its New Testament context. Remember, all those churches named in the Bible, with the possible exceptions of Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome were “small membership churches.”

No, we don’t need “star power” in the church. We need dedicated people, captured by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, to “pick up their crosses and follow Jesus.”

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About New Hope Christian Fellowship

New Hope Christian Fellowship is a nondenominational Christian church in Show Low, Arizona.

This Show Low nondenominational church is comprised of an independent body of believers, who have found comfort in biblical love, fellowship and spiritual unity. We practice New Testament Christianity in adherence to the Word of God, in faith, in obedience, and servanthood. We are dedicated to that which blesses the Lord Jesus Christ and lifts up His commandments, especially to love one another.

What We Believe: “To do things Jesus’ way, by Jesus’ teaching, and for Jesus’ glory.”

Life Verse: “Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

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