Germinating small seeds, pebble-stones, small and mega churches and faith

In this darkened world there is not much interest in God, but we must be honest that there are some Christians, though they have taken Jesus as their god, there is a sincere love for God. Those trinitarian Christians still have to grow and have to find out that Jesus is the Way to God and not God himself.  Those Christians who already give full honour to Christ, knowing that he did not do his own will, what he would have done if he is God, but did the Will of God.

Ichthys and Psalm23
Ichthys and Psalm23 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We can imagine that those Christians who are tangled up in human doctrines often have difficulty in seeing clear in Biblical language because of the fog produced by the many teachings of man, instead of listening enough to the teachings of Christ Jesus. You can compare them to seeds, which are the result of a sower. But it can be it was a sower who did not care about where his seeds came from or which fertiliser he used. As in the fields of man you may find agricultures who do not mind to use all sorts of chemicals, in the church world it is no different. There we do find also lots of ministers who do not care much which compost or fertiliser they use as long as they can see their flock growing as much as it can be, even creating mega churches. Other ministers do believe the bigger the church the stronger the believers may be.

Since the 1980ies in the United States of America and some African countries the mega churches have grown potentially, luring many curious people into their home, attracting them with many shows or pleasant services. We notice however that often in those services not much interest is given to the Word of God and often the focus is even not on Jesus Christ and the salvation he brought. More often we hear the preachers over there at those places talking about damnation and eternal torture in hell (for them a place of eternal fire, where people after having received the death penalty for their sins are once more penalised, making of God an unloving sadist).

Not only has the number of megachurches grown, so has attendance among the most mega. From 2000 – 2010, the 100 largest churches in the U.S. doubled in size. Currently, every weekend across the U.S. 1.6 million attend one of the country’s 100 biggest megachurches. 1.6 million.

Lakewood church.jpg
Lakewood Church is a nondenominational charismatic Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas

There is even one church which manages to get more than 52,000 visitors every weekend, namely Lakewood Church in Houston, founded by John Osteen in 1959 and now pastored by his son Joel Osteen. It offers active ministries in televangelism, conferences, missionary support, and food distribution.

That’s a five year gain of 7,200 since 2010 and five times the size of the church led by his father and founding pastor John Osteen who died in 1999. {1.6 Million People Now Attend 100 of America’s Largest Churches Each Weekend}

In the United states of America small churches out number megachurches nine to one. Each has their own unique local and global tasks. When John Vaughan, founder of Church Growth Today (1980), wrote the book, The World’s 20 Largest Churches (1985), there were only 27 known non-Catholic churches in the world with 6,000 plus weekend attendance. Eleven were in the United States. Today, more than 200 in the U.S. are that large.

Being large or small we can only hope in those churches some seeds are sown, which shall be able to grow in good soil, creating fruitful trees which can bring others to Christ. Even with little faith, as a small mustard seed, such people are the necessary seeds the church needs.

small church picWe can notice that many churches struggle with bringing youngsters into the faith. Many of the youngsters have found themselves an other god and even atheists have found their weekly services, like television shows but also some weekly meeting with many rituals. Lots of youngsters have lost faith in the previous generations because they look to be hypocrites. They also have seen how in several churches ministers or priest where preaching about a proper way to live, but they themselves not only finding themselves more than one person to have sex with (from both sexes) but even also going for minors. they have seen how the post war church has ignited a war in its own ranks and did not life up to expectations of their flock.

The youngsters have seen how narcissism and authoritarianism has become a huge problem in all leadership both inside and outside the church. They became disgusted by the abusive churches. Small or big and even house church leaders could not proof to be without fault.

The Church’s greatest cultural potency came about when it was profoundly marginalized and many started thinking we where going to the end of Christendom and people stepping away from religions. Though it looks like people shall never step away from looking for the spiritual matters in life and how to place one self in the bigger whole of the universe. Many may have come into rejoicing because so many lost interest in ‘the church’ because they saw how much of it became about power and control. So much of the power-seeking eventually became such a poor witness to the neighbour that huge numbers of people are now profoundly turned off to Christianity. Because of the Church’s embrace of the idol of power, there are many people who won’t even give faith a chance.

Many thought science would bring them all answers but came to see that science also does not have all answers. With all the terror going on some youngsters again became interested in what others believe an dhow they live with their faith.

Haydn Shaw, who is a leading expert on generations and has written the book entitled, Generational I.Q.:  Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future Is Bright, said that the best way to reach those of the younger generation is through the Boomers.  Those born between 1946 and 1964 have gone to periods where they came confronted with many changes in church and in politics. they also may be associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values, many of them fighting for big ideals. Lots of them may have lost some of their ideals or have become a civil some one, part of bourgeoisie. Others not unlearned the fighting and are still going for certain matters they believe in. Some of them are already retired, others will be soon. Then they also will have more time to spend to the other things in life which might have been neglected when taking care for an income of the family.

The Baby-boomers who have faith in Christ and do believe he shall return, do have the opportunity to connect well with the newer young generation.  Studies show that seven out of ten young people will drop out of church.  However, if an adult sends a young adult that they know in their church a text twice a month, there’s a 60% likelihood that they’ll never leave!

My four year old grandson: David Lee--a giant in the making.We also know that the younger generation is not so keen in going out to churches and for watching television, but more interested in reading material on the internet. So the internet might be a good place to come to reach out to those youngsters. If we can get them to know some religious sites, which can send them regularly a mail or an update of postings, it can well be that by being confronted with regular postings they come to read more of it and shall come to check with the bible and with what others are saying or preaching.

Coming closer to the times the signs are clearly indicating, the Baby-boomers and those born in the World War II period are the ones which should warn the youngsters for what happened in the 1920-30ies and how nationalism brought a fall-down of human ethics, killing millions. The Bible warning us for the big trouble to come, the big war which shall unavoidable, but to which we have to prepare not only ourselves but also others around us.

It is high time to go sowing. There is a big need for seeds to be planted and to fertilise the ground of this earth. The world needs preachers, people bringing the Good News. There is already enough bad news presented in the media, so it can do very well with some more Good News. Though many may not call it ‘News’ it is a necessary old news we do have to bring.

Also when there are not many people around us who want to listen, we are better to gather with a few people, making each-other stronger in the Biblical faith instead of staying of this world just enjoying all the pagan feasts and rituals. A believer in God has to do away with all those pagan rituals and has to become clean and pure in faith, in front of God.

We do not need big parts of land to sow.  In our own small community we might start with a house church, bringing people together who want to know more about the Word of God and about the love of God.

English: Tribulus cistoides (seedlings germina...
Tribulus cistoides (seedlings germinating and many seeds on ground). Location: Oahu, Moku Manu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we should think more about the value of the parables of Jesus about the sower, the weeds and the mustard seed.

When we are loving God and His sent one, we should follow the tasks Jesus has given his followers. We should not be afraid to tell others about our faith and show them how Jesus is the way to a better life.

When being ourselves peaceful and open to others we can saw the seed of peace and show others that there is a way to peace, which is available to all.

By witnessing for Jehovah getting people to come to see clear who Jesus is, what happened at the beginning of times and how man evolved in a world which he wanted for himself, instead of sharing it with all creatures of God, under the guidance and leadership of the Most High.

We should be not afraid of the world, nor of the people who say there is no God. Let us continue to saw seeds which we do hope shall come onto good soil, strong enough to grow over the weeds of this earth, becoming fruitful and bringing glory to their Divine Maker.

How to cope with small churches getting growing ecclesiae
How to cope with small churches getting growing ecclesiae

 

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Preceding

Looking on what is going on and not being of it

I have not hidden …

Engaging the culture without losing the gospel

Looking for a biblically sound church

When not seeing or not finding a biblically sound church

The Big conversation Why it matters

a little church

Is your church small?

Having a small church mentality

As a small church needing encouragement

Reasons why you may not miss the opportunity to go to a Small Church

Slave for people and God

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Additional reading

  1. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  2. Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace
  3. MegaChurch
  4. Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?
  5. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  6. Seeds of promise
  7. Seeds to be planted soon
  8. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  9. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  10. Depression, Anxiety, Pressure and megachurches
  11. Problems attracting and maintaining worshippers
  12. Strange Fire conference 2013
  13. A learning process for each of us
  14. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  15. Church sent into the world
  16. The struggles of Taipei Ecclesia
  17. God loving people justified
  18. United people under Christ
  19. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  20. Small churches of the few Christadelphians

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Further reading

  1. What is the church?
  2. Is bigger better when it comes to churches?
  3. Big churches and bigger expectations
  4. Think About It – Why People Should Leave Mega Church Pastors Alone
  5. Holiness and the Mega-Church
  6. Wealthy Churches, Beware
  7. The Underbelly of Mega-Churches
  8. Mega-Churches: A Parable
  9. The Problem With Mega Churches
  10. Celebrating Christendom’s Demise?
  11. We aren’t losing people because of worship. We’re losing them because we’re hypocrites.
  12. An Open Letter to the Idea of Church
  13. 16/9 The Weekly Best
  14. The Program is Jesus
  15. The new Mega Churches and what they offer to a strange lady like myself.
  16. Empty Churches
  17. Put up your dukes
  18. The Power of Doubt in Faith
  19. Mustard Seed
  20. Mustard Seeds
  21. Let Go and Live
  22. Undetected Growth
  23. Daily Prompt: Tiny
  24. Small Beginnings
  25. Pass it on
  26. Open the Eyes of my Heart
  27. The Gift Of God
  28. Genuine message of salvation
  29. There is a Way
  30. The Only Way
  31. Mustard Seed Faith
  32. A Mustard Seed of Faith
  33. What is Faith?
  34. What does faith in crisis mean?
  35. O you of great unbelief!
  36. Small start, Big Finish
  37. #Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
  38. Faith of A Mustard Seed
  39. Faith Like a Forest
  40. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  41. 12 Month Faith Challenge (I Conquer Pt 1)
  42. Daily Mass: Steady growth that starts small. Catholic Inspiration
  43. January 26 – From A Mustard Seed
  44. Today’s Scripture – December 28, 2016
  45. Daily Gospel Reading – Mark 4:26-34
  46. What is the meaning of the Parable of the Mustard Seed?
  47. Moving Mountains
  48. Fear Feels Bigger
  49. As Small as a Mustard Seed
  50. Does Your Faith Make You Eager To Forsake Sin?
  51. Prayer Changes Me
  52. Don’t Say How, Say I Am Yours!
  53. Luke 6:17-19
  54. Luke 13
  55. Luke 17
  56. Small Faith
  57. Measuring Faith
  58. Optimism and the Kingdom of God
  59. Of Seeds and Slaves, of Faith and Favor
  60. Only Servants Doing Our Duty
  61. Like a Mustard Seed…
  62. Wise Virgins
  63. Conceal, Don’t Feel
  64. Warfare Against the Mustard Seed
  65. Hang On To Your Faith
  66. Like A Mustard Seed
  67. The Significance of the Insignificant (October 2, 2016)
  68. Sermon on Mustard Seed Faith and Superheros
  69. What You Have is Enough | A Widow’s Mite and Mustard Seed Faith
  70. Increase Our Faith
  71. Busted Mustard Seed
  72. Faith Unwavering
  73. How will your faith grow?
  74. Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:5-10)
  75. Faith like a mustard seed. Whatever you have is enough.
  76. just the tiniest little bit
  77. Wow! That’s All It Takes?
  78. Faith Is Not a Verb
  79. Where Our Help Comes From & Our Trust Belongs
  80. How’s your mustard seed?

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