Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Devotions Holy Heritage

Lectionary Verse: Matthew 21:38 "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.'”

It’s amazing what greed does to some people. Several times, in my twenty plus years of ministry, I have watched greed destroy families and friends, especially when it comes to dividing up property and possessions after the death of a loved one. It sickens my heart each time I see it occur and no matter how brazen or immoral the takers are, their greed supersedes their need to be fair and to share.

It happens on a faith level, too. Some churches are ditching their foundational beliefs in order to become more influential and powerful. They’re changing their names, denominations, and traditions for trendier types. They’re turning their venues into stadiums and cinemas, instead of houses of prayer. Each week, they lose something else in order to gain something new.

They’re driven by a power to be powerful and a need to be needed. They’re feeding the monster that they have created and some of them are beginning to splinter, divide, and breakdown. Perhaps the age of the mega-church, driven by personality and celebrity, is beginning to grind to a halt. Their towers of Babel have been built too high and people are returning to the smaller places, the safer sanctuaries, the more traditional churches.

When we kill Christ in an effort to be bigger and better, we kill our churches. The battle has always been between Christ and our culture. No matter what generation we are in, our lives are meant to be His. Anything else is unimportant. Anything else will just crumble and decay. Mega churches are nothing new – Christians built them in Europe 800 years ago and called them cathedrals. Most of them are in ruins or have very small active congregations in them now – the price of power and prestige, at the cost of people and faith.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You for growing some of our smaller churches in recent years. We pray that each growth of a person has meant a closer journey with You. Help us to build the strengths of fellowship with one another through Your Truth, Way, and Life. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie is the writer of the daily devotional "Heaven's Highway" and the Christian Podcast "Stushie's Stuff."


Sarahlynn said...


I found this line especially challenging (in a good way) and thought-provoking for me, personally (rather than for my church): driven by . . . a need to be needed.

As for the church, I'm uncomfortable with and in megachurches, and while I love love love my church, I am a little concerned about our current focus on growth. Sure we want to be healthy and robust - which we are. But I'm not excited about getting a whole lot bigger . . .

Stushie said...

If we had bigger hearts rather than bigger buildings, Sarahlynn, the world would not be so broken...:)