Thursday, 24 November 2011

Successful evangelism?

Reading today about the wealth and wisdom of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9 and the visit of the Queen of Sheba. A few things began to bubble away in my head...

1) Solomon is successful. He is wealthy and impressive, the repeated phrase that never had such things been seen in Judah, shows that he was remarkably successful. Because of his success, he is sought out by the Queen of Sheba.

I've been wondering a fair bit lately about whether 'successful' large, slick, modern, churches are what God wants. Is this a representation of the Kingdom that is seen in mustard seed and yeast? But equally am aware that in a culture that is so aware of 'image' that to be impressive and successful and be seen to be full of life and making a real difference and impact can draw people to you to pick your brains or seek your input. This is what is happening here. Solomon's reputation goes before him and is therefore attractive to the seeker - in this case the Queen of Sheba. So maybe being impressive isn't so bad after all.

Except that...

2) Nothing changes in the life of the Queen of Sheba. She is impressed, she receives help it seems. She goes on her merry way, but there is nothing to suggest a challenge to transforming life and becoming a follower of the Lord, in contrast to other 'foreign' monarchs who acknowledge the power and goodness of God in thew OT. Is there not a danger in 'impressive churches' of being caught up in the 'impressive' and missing the real Kingdom moment of transformation? Isn't it so easy to consume and consume the great 'product' of a modern, slick church, and pass away without anyone noticing that nothing in you has been challenged or changed? Is the potential pitfall that people are impressed and even attracted but the presentation softens the hard Gospel call?

These are just questions which i have no answers to and am just posing really, but are worth considering. As a minister in a medium sized but growing church I am well aware of my ambitious streak which is very keen to impress and be noticed, but sense, for me anyway, the nagging voice of the Spirit challenging me to help shape communities that represent God's Kingdom and not human empires.

1 comment:

ARedeemedVoice said...

a video that brings into question exactly what you do here.