The Crystal Cathedral church in California has put millions of dollars into their church building. It has over 10,000 windows, 52 bells in the bell tower, massive 90 foot tall doors that electronically open behind the pulpit, a 17 foot 18-karat-gold cross, and an outdoor movie screen for “drive-in” worshippers. This only scratches the surface of what this building has. But now, due to finances, they’re in big trouble. They’ve begun to sell land, buildings, retreat centers and make layoffs among the staff.
The church’s plan, according to the article in the paper this week, is to regroup and start going in a new direction as a church. What’s the new direction this church is going to go? They said, besides fundraising, their new plan of action is, “We’re going to seek out those who are lost or have lost connection with their faith.”
What? A church deciding that they’re going to change directions and start trying to reach lost people? No, way. What an amazing new concept. Reaching lost people? Who would have ever thought of doing something crazy like that? That’s insane!
I never want to kick people when their down, but I wonder, “What in the world have they been doing all these years?” Shouldn’t “reaching out to the lost” be what they should have been doing from the beginning? I’ve said it once and I’ll SHOUT it a million more times, “The church is ALL ABOUT reaching lost people!” It was Jesus’ goal and it should be ours. When we cease trying to reach lost people … we cease being a church!
Jesus said this about his mission, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save those who are lost.” Then he told us, “…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.” I think if a church has any other goal than that, then they’ve already failed the assignment Jesus gave them to do.
I wonder if God shakes His head in disgust when we take His money and use those billions of dollars on buildings instead of reaching the lost, feeding the hungry and making a difference in the world. I don’t know about you, but I DO NOT want to be a part of a church that is defined by its location, building or budget, but by its love for reaching lost people.
(COMMENT OF THE DAY: WisemanB said… “But think of the economic impact of this church fails! What about the window washers who clean 10,000 windows each week? What about the grounds-keepers, the IT people who keep the multi-media going, the accountants, the….Okay, it is almost incomprehensible that they weren’t already seeking the lost, but isn’t that what happens in many large cities? The easiest way to pull in more numbers is to pull Christ-followers from the congregations they’re already attending, “seeking the saved.” I have yet to fail to find a culture of competition between congregations in large cities. It’s usually masked as “doctrinal issues,” but if you dig down below the surface there’s some competition brewing there.”