gentry13

Visionary? Entrepreneurial? Or just Greedy?

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Submitted By: Slowfo

In commercial real estate, I end up either working with coworkers or high level execs who consistently meeting make anywhere from $200,000 to $2,000,000 per year in steady income. Trust me, I’ve got nothing to brag about here as my income comes nowhere close to those numbers. Since I’m relatively new in the business though, it’s ingrained in all brokers that the guys who make that kind of money are “obviously doing it right.” In reality, the definition of “doing it right” is different for everyone. Not long ago, most would have probably said that Rupert Murdoch was “obviously doing it right” too. From an outsider’s perspective, good, entrepreneurial business men often just turn greedy and ego-centric…or more so than before and they are tempted to do more and more and bend the rules to increase their profits.

Does that also happen in the church? Maybe not for profits but maybe for putting butts in seats? If so, what does it look like? I sat in my church this morning and listened to a guest preacher start by sharing how he won the denomination’s 2010 Evangelism award. He boisterously shouted out his enthusiasm for having grown his church from 200 to 1600 with 800 new converts in between and name-dropped how blessed he’d been to have meetings with George Barna (well-known Christian author) to discuss such achievements.

He told of a soon-to-be-convert whose house he’d been called to because the man was currently having epileptic seizures with his eyes rolled in the back of his head. When he arrived at the house and saw the man who was still incapacitated and had lost control of his bowels, the minister could only think, “God, this is not a good deal for me.” He preached this story with such charm and charisma that most listeners just giggled about his reaction to the man writhing on the bathroom floor (really?).

He shared how evangelism at his church had allowed for the popularity of their church logo on t-shirts to be on the same level as the nearby major league sports teams. And you’ll never guess what verses from the Bible this painfully loud man used to inspire us all…….why, yes, it was the Prayer of Jabez, how did you know? He said he originally just had a dream for leading a mega church like Saddleback and Willow Creek but now he wanted a church with “biblical proportions! And so should you!”

 

As I’ve been investigating various Christian denominations in the recent past to figure out where my family and I best fit, one very valuable lesson I learned from the Orthodox Church is that Sunday mornings are not about the preaching. As a matter of fact, I think they could do away with the sermon for a week or two and no one would even notice. It’s about the Eucharist. It’s about being with God and experiencing His presence.

I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know. When do good, visionary church leaders turn into egocentric, greedy for fame and power businessmen? When it becomes more about the guy up front and less about being in God’s presence and with His people.

What say you Church? Have you seen your leaders be tempted towards accomplishment and fame rather than humble, genuine leadership? If so, what are we to do to challenge them on it when all they’ll say is that they’re just trying to be like the church in Acts 2?

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  1. I don’t know exactly when it happens, there must be a point when someone convinces themselves that for the ‘good of the Church’, they must do this, or that. Eventually you end up with Televangelists, Cardinal Princes, Metropolitans, and Abbots that live like kings on the backs of the poor. Sin, is Sin

  2. You can’t be talking about the downtown church can you? Seems a tad beneath a mainline church, but youneverknow.

  3. I mean every Church from Pentecostals to Pontifical Prelates. 🙂

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